THE memory of a “gentle giant” from Tullibody will be preserved thanks to generous donations following his sudden death two weeks ago.

Having been left shell-shocked after the unexpected death of Ian McMillan in Alva on Tuesday, July 4, friends and the community rallied together to raise £640 to remember the 36-year-old.

Ian was born and raised in Tullibody with his pals planning to place a memorial bench around the Delph Pond, a local beauty spot he frequented.

The former Lornshill Academy pupil worked as a gardener with Clackmannanshire Council for 20 years and the local authority agreed to supply the bench to pay a fitting tribute to the man.

The money already raised by his friends will go towards improving the site, they are getting a plaque made to go with it alongside a memorial stone.

Any cash left over will be donated to Ian's family.

The Advertiser broke the news of Ian's death last week and he has been described as “loving and caring” by those close to him and someone who “would do anything for anybody”.

A spokeswoman for the council said: “Ian served his apprenticeship with the council as a gardener and worked throughout the county but most often in the Sauchie and Clackmannan areas.

“His colleagues were very fond of him, he really was a gentle giant.

“Ian will be much missed by everyone who had the pleasure of working with him, and his family are very much in the thoughts of all his council colleagues.”

One of his close friends, Chris Pike, previously told the Advertiser: “Ian was liked by all his fellow employees; worked his finger to the bone and was a very hard grafter.

"He was a loving, caring man and would do anything for anybody; he would give you his last pound if you needed it.

"The lad was very kind, outgoing and would sit and listen if you had a problem."

While they had their ups and downs, they always came through with the bond tight.

Ian's friends are planning to unveil the memorial some time in August and toast to his memory.

Pal David Stewart added: “Ian was a gentle giant. He had time for everyone and everyone is so sad he has gone.

"I hope this bench will serve to remind the community of what a great person he was."