FRIENDS of John Ankers, whose body was found in Wirral woodland on Wednesday, have paid tribute to a ‘man in a million’.

Mr Ankers, 28, was last seen on Sunday morning as he left his Upton home for work at Blockbuster in Birkenhead.

His the body was laetr found in woodland near Arrowe Park Hospital.

An inquest is expected to open this this afternoon.

More than 50 people took part in the search for John on Wednesday night. The hunt covered Bidston Hill, Thurstaston Common, Formby and Liverpool.

Brian Granby, who was among the organizers of the search, described John as a ‘man in a million’.

He also created a fundraising website to give John what he calls 'The best send off possible' (see below).

He told the Globe today: "I’d known him for six years and spoke to him everyday.

“He’s going to be hugely missed by numbers you couldn’t count.

“The last time I saw him was on Saturday night. He was in really good spirits and I said I’d call him the next day. 

"I never got round to it. I wish I had.”

A Facebook page set up to help find John has attracted thousands of followers, and more than 100 have left messages of condolence.

Among them was SarahBella Wainwright, who wrote: "Didn't know John personally but I know a lot of people who were his mates and he's a very loved man. RIP x"

Claire White put: "I was so hoping for a happy ending! My thoughts and best wishes to all his family and friends at this difficult time! RIP John xx"

Laura-Leigh Thompson wrote: "So sad this has happened  my thoughts and love go out to Johns Wife and family i really am sorry for your loss. I didn't know John but you can see he was loved by so many Xx"

In a message on Give John Ankers the Best Send Off Possible site, Brian Granby wrote: "He (John) would want us all to celebrate him and the help we have had has been immense.

"I understand money is tight but a once in a life time donation of £2 could help a life that brought so much joy and happiness into the world go on."

To donate, visit