THE heartbroken wife of a former Wirral soldier who died after he was attacked at a taxi rank has hailed him as a "true hero."

David Ryding, from Moreton, was badly injured from the assault during the early hours of Sunday morning in Rugby, Warwickshire that he was put on a life support machine.

However his condition was so bad that it was decided that the machine be switched off.

Now the 26-year-old dad-of-one's widow Nicola has paid tribute to his "fun loving" personality and revealed that his death had saved others' lives through organ donation.

She said: "David Ryding was a true hero who touched the lives of all who met him.

"He was a fun loving character and the world will not be the same without him.

"In our short time together he managed to turn our lives upside down and taught me what true happiness really was.

"He wanted nothing more than to make a difference to the world we live in.

"He served for our country alongside many and I was so proud to call him my husband. He was always trying to better himself to provide a better life for me and our daughter.

"David was a son, father, brother, friend... a role model.

"All he ever wanted was to be surrounded by his loving friends and family and would be so proud knowing that the people he loved most came together for his final hours.

"Can I please ask that people do not speculate about what happened that night as the events from that night will become clear following the investigation.

"For the future I hope that this makes people aware of the devastating consequences of what is an everyday occurrence.

"There is small comfort knowing that others have gained a new lease of life following the organ donation.

"I cannot encourage people enough to sign up for organ donation, it takes just five minutes and you could save a life, David saved three! He was a true hero right to the end.

"Mollie and myself will miss David dearly, our hearts have been shattered.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful work the team at university hospital Coventry and Warwickshire gave to David during his final hours they were all truly amazing and made the process that little bit easier.

"Sweet dreams my love, we will meet again one day, my best friend, my husband........ my soul mate. "

Police arrested a 21-year-old man from Rugby on suspicion of murder following the incident, which occurred at the Clock Tower in Market Place, Rugby.

He was released on police bail pending further enquiries.