Neil Fingleton: Game of Thrones actor and 'gentle giant' dies at 36

Game of Thrones actor Neil Fingleton, who was Britain's tallest man, has reportedly died at the age of 36.

The 7ft 7in star played the giant known as Mag the Mighty in the hit TV fantasy drama.

He is believed to have died of heart failure.

Fingleton played basketball in the US before becoming an actor and also appeared in X-Men First Class, Doctor Who and 47 Ronin.

He is thought to have recently finished filming on the latest series of Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland.

His agent Kenneth Earle told Sky News he was a "gentle giant".

He said Fingleton was "very polite, respectful and a nice guy" as well as being a "good actor".

Mr Earle said the star had a "bad fall" about a year ago when he fell out of bed and was in hospital for about a week. However he later recovered.

Born in Durham, Mr Fingleton was awarded a basketball scholarship in the US, playing for a number of teams there and in Spain before returning to the UK to focus on his acting career.

In an interview with the Guinness World Records in 2006, he said he came from a tall family.

He said: "I have always been taller than everyone since I can remember. My height really took off when I reached 11 and was touching 7ft.

"By the time I was 16, I was 7ft 5in and stopped growing at 18."

A statement from the Tall Persons Club said: "Sadly it has come to our attention that Neil Fingleton, Britain's tallest man, passed away on Saturday.

"Neil became Britain's tallest man in 2007 passing the height of Chris Greener.

"Neil started off in basketball in the USA before becoming a actor and starring in the X-Men First Class and also recently in the Game of Thrones.

"Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family."

Game of Thrones fan Gary Windle tweeted a picture of himself with the actor and wrote: "Rip to the giant that is Neil Fingleton, Mag the Mighty, Game of Thrones, rest in peace mate, gutted."

Paul Nilsen posted: "RIP Neil Fingleton - basketball player and Game Of Thrones actor. Just 36-years-old. Thoughts with his family & friends [a Durham lad as well]."