TRIBUTES have been paid to Britain’s tallest man, who died in his native North-East of suspected heart failure at the weekend.

Neil Fingleton, 36, who hails from Durham, found fame as Mag The Mighty in HBO TV series Game of Thrones and also took on roles in X-Men First Class and Jupiter Ascending.

He also played the villain The Fisher King in BBC’s Doctor Who.

Standing at 7ft 7in he was declared the UK’s tallest man by Guinness World in 2007.

A statement posted on the Tall Persons Club group Facebook page on Sunday read: "Sadly it has come to our attention that Neil Fingleton Britain's Tallest man passed away on Saturday.

"Neil became Britain's Tallest man in 2007 passing the height of Chris Greener.

"Neil started off in basketball in the USA before becoming a actor and starring in the X-men first class and also recently in the Game of Thrones.

"Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family."

The Northern Echo:

Tributes poured in over social media. Game Of Thrones fan Gary Windle Tweeted a picture of himself with the actor and wrote: "RIP to the giant that is Neil Fingleton, Mag the Mighty, Game of Thrones, rest in peace mate, gutted."

Paul Nilsen posted: "RIP Neil Fingleton - basketball player and GameOfThrones actor. Just 36-years-old. Thoughts with his family & friends [a Durham lad as well]."

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Tom Blenkinsop tweeted: “Really sad news about Neil Fingleton. Played, amongst many things, Mag the Mighty in #GoT. Also a Huge Boro fan!!Only 36!! So, so sad.”

The former Durham Gilesgate Sports College pupil first hit the headlines as an outsize teenager, when his family found difficulty buying him clothes to fit.

He was awarded a basketball scholarship in the US and spent two years at the University of North Carolina before transferring to Holy Cross in Massachusetts.

After a successful career playing professionally in Spain, China, Italy, Greece and England, Fingleton turned his attention to acting in 2007, when injury forced him to abandon his sporting career.

In an interview with the Guinness World Records in 2006, he said he came from a tall family. "I have always been taller than everyone since I can remember," he said. "My height really took off when I reached 11 and was touching 7ft.

"By the time I was 16, I was 7ft 5in and stopped growing at 18."