A BODY recovered from a canal in Chester on Tuesday is that of missing city man Mark Speed, The Standard has learned.

Cheshire Police said that formal identification had now taken place and next of kin had been informed.

Mr Speed’s body was recovered from the Shropshire Union Canal, at Greenfield Lock, Great Boughton shortly before 10am on the morning of June 18.

A police spokesman said: “There do not appear to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding the death and a file will be prepared for the coroner.”

Mr Speed, known as Speedy, was said to have gone missing after leaving the Bridge Inn pub in Boughton at around 12.15am on Saturday, June 15.

He had been with his dog Eric, who was reportedly found that evening on the canal towpath near Vicars Cross.

Chester and District Standard:

Mark Speed.

A large scale search, which included the police helicopter and the North West Underwater Search Team, was then launched before a body was spotted in the canal on Tuesday.

Staff at the Bridge Inn had received updates from Mr Speed’s son Leigh, and on Wednesday afternoon (June 19) broke the news that everyone had been fearing.

In a post on Facebook they said: “Leigh has asked me to inform everyone who has been asking about Speedy's welfare that a formal identification of the body found in the canal yesterday has taken place this morning and it is with deep regret that our worse fears have been realised and the body has been positively identified as that of Mark Speed.

“Leigh would like to thank everyone for their concern and their efforts to try and locate Speedy when it was realised he was missing.

“Speedy was a character and will be missed by many.”

Dozens of people have already left tributes to him on the pub's Facebook page.

One woman summed up people's sentiments saying: "So sorry to hear the news. Rest in peace Speedy. You will be missed by so many. My thoughts and prayers are with all his family and friends."