Two men have appeared in court charged with the murder of a gifted former amateur boxer who died following an attack at a New Year's Eve party.
Mark Denton, 31, died in hospital after he was seriously injured at a party in Hutton Avenue, Hartlepool.
David Sowerby, 23, of Allerton Close, Hartlepool, and Anthony Middleton, 21, of Bruntoft Avenue, appeared at Teesside Magistrates Court, Middlesbrough, for a brief hearing.
Both men were remanded in custody and will appear next at Teesside Crown Court on January 7.
A 17 year old arrested in connection with the inquiry has been released without charge.
Mr Denton's family said they were heartbroken by the loss of the "larger-than-life character".
A tribute said: "We are absolutely devastated and heartbroken to have lost Mark, and in such a tragic way.
"He was a loving uncle, brother, son and boyfriend and he will be sadly missed by everyone. Our hearts will never heal from the loss of Mark, he was a larger-than-life character and our loss is immeasurable."
Mr Denton was a promising middleweight when he was younger and was well known in the local boxing community.