DOZENS of friends and family paid their respects to a young man who died of a suspected drug overdose during a ride out at the weekend.

Cian Daly, 20, from Leigh, has been named as one of five people who have lost their lives in south Essex in a tragic spate of drug-related deaths.

On Saturday afternoon, family and friends gathered on Southend seafront to say goodbye to Cian - a motorsports fan - with a ride out.

The ride, which started at 4pm, travelled through Southend, Rochford, Rayleigh, Thundersley, Hadleigh before finishing in Leigh.

Southend Standard:

Dozens of bikers, car drivers and even a fire engine attended the event to pay tribute to Cian.

Essex Police were present throughout the ride and issued advice ahead of the event to urge those participating to drive responsibly and look out for each other while on the roads.

The event finished in Old Leigh where people released balloons, each marked with special messages to Cian, into the sky.

Sophie West, a good friend of Cian’s, thanked everyone for their support.

She said: “It was a fantastic turnout and a great day for Cian’s memorial ride out on Saturday.

“It was so nice to see how many people he made an impact on and listen to how much love and amazing memories he had with so many that will live on forever.

“I hope everyone has done Cian proud.

“He will be missed more than anything and I feel so blessed to have met someone as amazing as he was.

“Lots of love and keep riding at 100.”

Southend Standard:

Cian died after using suspected class A drugs on Monday, July 29.

In tributes, Cian was described as clever, kind and always willing to help no matter the situation.

A fundraiser has been set up to help install a memorial bench in his name and has since raised more than £2,000.

Click here for the latest in the police investigation.