A SPECIAL tribute is being planned for a former Borders festival principal who was killed at the weekend.

Ian Whellans was Kelso Laddie in 2016.

The hugely popular 26-year-old, who was affectionately known as Splodge, died following a farm accident on Sunday morning near the village of Hume.

Ian's death was met with shock and great sadness in his hometown as well as the wider Borders community.

And throughout Sunday and into this week tributes have poured in from fellow principals and festival supporters.

Rory Monks was Selkirk Standard Bearer in the same year as Ian led the celebrations in Kelso.

He told us: "Ian was such a genuine man, a great ambassador for the Borders and his town.

"He was a great horseman and fun to be around.

"I feel privileged to have spent my summers with him and had looked forward to many more.

"Such a tragic loss and thoughts are with his friends and his family."

Mark Hood was Braw Lad in the same year.

He said: "We became great friends during the summer of 2016 and we stayed great friends - we were on the phone to each other every couple of weeks.

"He was a great Kelso Laddie and the type of man who would do anything he could for you.

"Splodge will be terribly missed by everyone who knew him and the festivals next year aren't going to be the same without him.

"My thoughts are with his family at this horrible time."

Organisers of Kelso Civic Week are already planning a tribute to Ian as part of their summer festival from next year.

Civic Week chairman Scott McKenzie said: "Words can't describe the feeling around the town at the minute.

"We will have a fitting tribute to remember Ian in time for next year's Civic Week celebrations

"Ian's been a remarkable ambassador for the town, reading some of the tributes to him over the past couple of days it just shows how popular he was.

"He was just a gentle, genuine person, who rarely had a bad word to say about anyone.

"He never let anything in life get in his way, he just did his own thing and enjoyed his own life as much as he could.

"As chairman, I'd like to offer my deepest condolences to his family and offer them our support at this sad time."

Kelso Provost Dean Weatherston was amongst the many who have continued to pay tribute to the 2016 Kelso Laddie.

He said: "He was a credit to his parents and our town and we will miss him greatly.

"In time we will be able to share stories about our friend Splodge, and he provided us with many of them, but at the moment for all of us who knew him there is just a great feeling of loss and injustice.

"He may be gone, but we will never forget him."

Ian's sister, Zoe, has been travelling in Australia.

Within hours of the tragic news reaching Brisbane, customers at a cafe where the former Kelso High pupil is working, along with friends, raised more $2,000 for her to return to Scotland in time for her brother's funeral.

Police and Health and Safety Executive officers have carried out an investigation into the fatal accident.

And a report has been sent to the Procurator Fiscal's office.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “The death it is not being treated as suspicious.”