CUSTOMERS at a York pub battled in vain to save the life of their 26-year-old friend after he collapsed in the bar.

Friends of James Dennis tried to revive him with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while waiting for an ambulance to arrive at the Pack Of Cards in Acomb.

But after paramedics took Mr Dennis to York Hospital, medics pronounced him dead.

His devastated father, Jeremy, has paid tribute to the efforts of friends Dave Bailey and a second man, named James, who attempted resuscitation, and another friend called Teri, who comforted James’s distraught mother Linda and sister Rachel.

“I would like to thank them all, along with the paramedics and staff at the hospital,” he said. “They did everything they possibly could.”

He revealed that James, of Shirley Avenue, suffered from epilepsy and may have collapsed after suffering a seizure in the bar of the pub in Lindsey Avenue.

Another possibility was that he tripped while getting off a stool and banged his head on the floor.

“He was a great lad – a much-loved son and will be sadly missed,” he said.

Reid Speck, the landlord of the pub, said staff and customers were “shocked and upset” by what had happened.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” said Mr Speck, who at 21 is thought to be the youngest landlord in York after taking over behind the bar last year.

“People are still coming to terms with it.”

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said officers were satisfied there were no suspicious circumstances.

A report would be prepared on behalf of the coroner.

He said Mr Dennis collapsed at about 11.50pm last Friday evening.

He was pronounced dead at 12.50am on Saturday, and police were called at about 1.15am.