The Spanish government has paid tribute to a Catholic man who died trying to defend a woman from a knife-wielding terrorist.

Ignacio Echeverria was one of eight people killed in an attack at London Bridge earlier this month. At least two of the others were also Catholic.

Mr Echeverria was returning from a skate park when he stumbled upon the atrocity and saw one of the terrorists repeatedly stabbing a woman.

Witnesses have reported that Mr Echeverria used his skateboard as a weapon against the terrorist before he was fatally wounded himself. The Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy said Mr Echeverria would be remembered for his “heroic and exemplary behaviour” and asked that he be awarded an order of civil merit.

In a statement posted on its website the Spanish government said Mr Echeverria’s relatives and friends “are not alone in their pain, and that, today, Spain is with them”.

His brother Joaquin told the Spanish El Mundo newspaper that Ignacio never missed a Sunday Mass.

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