TRIBUTES have been paid to an internationally-successful North East barber, who coiffed the locks of celebrities and sports stars, following his sudden death.

Sam Wall, who was based at Hidden Heights Creative Studio, in Gateshead, died last week at the age of 32.

Described as hugely popular and talented, Sam had built a solid client base ranging from some of the region’s biggest names in sport and business through to students and had won multiple awards.

He travelled the world to help train budding barbers and became a successful entrepreneur through the launch of his product range Let’s Ave It.

Colleagues at Team HH said: “We are in shock and disbelief at the loss of our team mate Sam. Words cannot describe how truly heartbroken we are, but we will remember Sam as the talented, kind, wonderful person he was.

“Sam was and will always be part of our family here.

"We have worked with him every day for the past four years, growing together, having amazing fun times together, and he became a best friend and brother to us.

"We will hold these memories forever in our hearts.

"He was an amazing talent and it’s fair to say we will never be the same without him.

“The messages of love and support we have received during the past devastating few days have been overwhelming and we cannot thank everyone enough. It really shows how loved and admired he was by so many.

"We love you Sammy boy.”

Among his awards, Mr Wall was named the ONESHOT Behind The Chair Men's International Big Shot Winner 2018 which had more than 311,000 entries worldwide.

He was also an ambassador for brands including Panasonic, The Lions Barber Collective and premium scissors brand Mizutani.

And he founded and ran the Lockdown Stylist 2020 competition, which gave a national platform to hairdressers and barbers and encouraged them to continue to be creative during a devastating period for the profession.

Deborah Johnson, who supported Mr Wall with his publicity for the past five years, said: “Sam will always be remembered.

“Hugely talented, ambitious and successful, yet so humble, kind and always game for a laugh, Sam was a one-off. He was a dream to work with and I cannot yet believe I will never work with him again.

“Sam is so loved and will be missed so very much."