Published: 07:20, 25 June 2021
| Updated: 15:28, 25 June 2021
The body of a popular magician well known across the county has been found by police.
Martin Collins, from Herne Bay, performed at hundreds of weddings and children's events, and went by the name of The Kent Magician.
Concern was raised for the 46-year-old's welfare due to him not being seen since about 4pm on Thursday.
Police launched a missing person appeal after midnight, but the search was brought to an end at 5.30am when a body was found in the Canterbury Road area of Herne Bay.
Mr Collins' family have been informed of the discovery.
Police are not treating the death as suspicious and a report is being prepared for the coroner.
Paying tribute to the popular 46-year-old, a Facebook post from Revival Cafe & Wellbeing in Whitstable states: "Today is an extremely sad day as we announce the passing of a talented young man who graciously donated his time to entertain our customers at Oxford Street during our fundraising magic nights.
"He was an amazing magician, a true gentleman with a heart of gold and we were blessed to have witnessed his magic and the joy he brought to our customers."
As well as being a magician, Mr Collins played for Herne Bay FC for a number of years.
Speaking to KentOnline's sister paper, the Herne Bay Gazette, in 2015, Mr Collins detailed his love for the town. "Herne Bay is the kind of place where people know your name – not that I am a celebrity, but I think that is something quite special," he said.
"I played for Herne Bay from the age of 15 and I was there until my early 30s. I also had a couple of seasons playing for Whitstable.
"My favourite thing about magic would have to be the interaction with people – I try to make my shows fun and love seeing people baffled, providing those really different moments when they leave a night wondering how something has been done."
Mr Collins grew up in Canterbury before moving to the coastal town when he started playing football.