THE SISTER of the man who died in Uppermill after a late night incident has paid tribute to him as two men were charged with his murder.
Daniel Hogan was believed to be on a night out with friends after celebrating his 34th birthday on December 18.
And he was set to attend the funeral of stepfather Harold Beevers on December 27 before tragedy struck.
Mr Hogan, of Rochdale, died after suffering head injuries outside Uppermill Methodist Church late on Friday.
Now his younger sister Kellie-Ann has spoken of her shock at receiving the news in the early hours of Saturday.
The 25-year-old, who lives in the Wythenshawe area of Manchester, told the Saddleworth Independent she helped identify his body at Royal Oldham Hospital on Saturday.
And she paid tribute to Daniel, saying: “He was a big guy but he was so gentle.
“He had absolutely loads of friends. He was definitely not the sort of person who’d go out looking for trouble.
“To get a phonecall at 4am and for police to be on their way to say something like that is shocking.
“I last saw him on December 6 or 7 but I was told by his mate that he went out as it was his birthday on December 18 and he just wanted to go out with his work colleagues.”
Daniel, known as a ‘big friendly giant’, worked for a building firm but was believed to be a whizz at manual labour after installing a garden and a driveway at Kellie-Ann’s home, where he doted on his niece Kelsie-Lea, who turns one in January.
“He used to stay at my house all the time just to be with me and his niece,” Kellie-Ann, who has another elder brother, 29-year-old Alex who is said to be torn over losing his sibling, added.
“He absolutely adored her, he really loved her. He was a real handy man and he was brilliant at that as well.
“Out of our family, Daniel and I were the closest as I was his little sister, he just wanted to protect me. That’s what brothers do with sisters.”
The family has set up a fundraising page on the internet to raise £1,000 to help devastated mum Jillian pay for Daniel’s funeral.
She is already paying for one after her husband died on December 11 following a two-year battle with bowel cancer.
“My brother’s death is more of a shock as it wasn’t expected,” said Kellie-Ann. “Something like this is the most horrible feeling ever.
“I just can’t get what’s happened out of my head. None of us can.”