HE WAS a lifelong Saints fan who in the words of the club “put a smile on everyone’s face”.

Jason Tizzard was a popular figure in the Woolston area of Southampton as well as being a firm favourite with customers at the fast food restaurant where he worked.

Now his heartbroken family have launched a campaign to equip Woolston with a life-saving defibrillator following his death from a heart attack.

Jason 48, collapsed moments after entering the Max 99p store in Victoria Road and died in front of his sister, despite desperate attempts to resuscitate him.

At least one business in the area is planning to close as a mark of respect during his funeral on Monday.

The service at Wessex Vale Crematorium in Hedge End is set to be a red and white affair, with scores of fellow fans turning up in their Saints shirts.

Club bosses have sent Jason’s family a letter describing him as a “passionate and loyal supporter” and praising their bid to buy a defibrillator in his memory.

The letter, which has been placed in his coffin, says: “Should the equipment ever be needed, it will be in Jason’s name that a life will be saved.”

One of the people who fought to resuscitate him was Max 99p employee Touna Burrows.

She said: “He collapsed before we could get him a chair and went into a coma. I phoned 999 and carried out CPR until the ambulance arrived.

“I was really upset that I didn’t manage to save him.”

Jason was on a shopping trip with his sister, Alison Wells, when he started to feel unwell. He staggered into the shop and fell to the floor.

Alison, 46, of Southampton, also carried out CPR but was unable to help him.

Her husband David said the tragedy had brought the community closer together as well as highlighting the need for a defibrillator, which uses an electric shock to restart a patient’s heart.

“Once we started to talk to the shops we realised that Jason was a local personality and extremely well known,” he said.

“Jason’s favourite cafe, Coffee Mac, is closing on the day of his funeral as a mark of respect. They’ve been incredibly supportive and other shops who knew him are also keen to help.

“We’re absolutely amazed at the affection shown towards Jason. It’s fantastic to know he was so loved and looked after in his local community.”

Jason, who had learning difficulties, lived in supported housing in Sholing and worked part-time at McDonald’s in Hedge End.

The letter from Saints says he dedicated 20 years of his life “to helping customers and putting a smile on everyone’s face”.

David, 46, said: “His father died of a heart attack in the 1970s, when Jason was only five or six years old. His mother died about four years ago and his stepfather passed away in March last year.

“But Jason just seemed to smile and move on, which is one of the things that people loved about him.”

To donate go online and visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/alison-tizzard.