The parents of a 25-year-old man who was killed in Manchester city centre have paid tribute to their son.

Craig Douglas, who was straight and a father and stepfather, died on Monday after he was stabbed on Canal Street.

Craig’s mother Sandra and father John said:

“We have been devastated by the tragic death of our beloved son.

“No parent should have to bury their child, and the fact he has been so cruelly taken away from us makes this loss even harder to bear.

“We are all struggling to come to terms with Craig’s death and know life will never be the same again.”

At about 7.30pm on Monday evening, Craig and another man were approached by two men and the four got into an argument on Canal Street close to its junction with Minshull Street and Aytourn Street.

Craig was then stabbed in the neck with a small knife.

He was taken to the Manchester Royal Infirmary but died a short time later.

A post-mortem examination later revealed Craig died as a result of a single stab wound to the neck.

A 66-year-old man, arrested on Monday on suspicion of murder, remains in police custody for questioning.

A 49-year-old man who was also arrested in connection with the incident has been released without charge.

Inquiries are continuing to establish the circumstances surrounding Craig’s death and police are appealing to anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Eckersley, from GMP’s Major Incident Team, said:

“The investigation is going incredibly well and we are following a number of strong lines of inquiry.

“Although the attack took place in the gay village, it is important to stress that we are not treating this as a homophobic incident.

“This is a tragic case in which a young man was stabbed and killed.

“While it is true to say that this kind of incident is incredibly rare on Canal Street it does not take away from the fact that Craig’s death is a tragedy.

“I would like to appeal to any witnesses or anyone with information about the incident to come forward.”

Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to call Greater Manchester Police on 0161 856 3540 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

You can also contact GMP’s Gay Village Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team, which is based at the Lesbian and Gay Foundation on Princess Street, with information on 0161 856 3277.