POLICE were today continuing to quiz a suspect over the fatal stabbing of a young man.
The identity of Stuart Smith, who suffered fatal knife wounds during an incident in Devon Road, Tyldesley, in the early hours of Monday morning, was formally confirmed by police last night as tributes were paid to the 23-year-old.
Stuart managed to stagger to his sister’s home in nearby Rutland Road before collapsing and paramedics were quickly on the scene.
But he died a short time later at the Royal Bolton Hospital.
Another 23-year-old man has since been arrested on suspicion of murder and has been quizzed by detectives.
Stuart’s devastated family have been too upset to speak publicly about their loss.
But neighbours have told of their shock and described Stuart as a “really popular lad” who was “always smiling”.
One, who did not wish to be named, told how trouble broke out in the street.
She said: “There had been a party on at that house for two days. During the day they had sat drinking in the garden.
“I heard a lot of shouting. It looked nasty and there were women involved. I could see punches being thrown - I didn’t realise there was a knife.”
Another said: “Stuart was a lovely lad and he was well liked by everyone around here. He was always smiling and he was a decent, honest lad.
“I’ve heard that it started with a row over a girl.”
Police have stepped up patrols in the area and appealed for calm. The scene of the crime was cordoned off as forensic officers scoured the street outside the house in Devon Road for clues.
A police spokesman said: “A man who died following an incident in Tyldesley has been formally identified.
“Police were called to a house on Rutland Road shortly after 3am on Monday May 7, following reports a man had been stabbed.
“Officers attended and discovered 23-year-old Stuart Smith with serious injuries to his torso.
“He was taken to hospital but sadly died a short time later.
Detectives later arrested a 23-year-old man on suspicion of murder. He remains in police custody for questioning.
Anyone with information should phone police on 0161 856 1722 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.