Lawyers will keep pressing for a fresh inquest into the death of a man found in entertainer Michael Barrymore’s swimming pool 20 years ago despite his father’s death, a friend has said.

Terry Lubbock, 76, whose son Stuart Lubbock, 31, died at Barrymore’s then home in Roydon, Essex, in March 2001, died on Wednesday after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Mr Lubbock, a retired toolmaker who lived in Harlow, Essex, had mounted a 20-year campaign for justice, and his friend and publicist Harry Cichy said that fight will continue.

“Terry has died without getting justice for Stuart but the fight for justice won’t stop,” said Mr Cichy, who announced Mr Lubbock’s death.

“He wanted a fresh inquest because he thought new evidence had emerged in recent years to justify a fresh inquest.

“Lawyers are working on that, and the fight will continue – I’ll make sure it does.”

Mr Cichy said Mr Lubbock was a mild-mannered man with the “heart of a lion”.

“He’s died sad, because he’s died knowing people never knew the truth about what happened,” said Mr Cichy.

“But no-one could have fought harder for their son.”

No-one has been charged in relation to Stuart Lubbock’s death but Essex Police said an investigation continues.

A senior detective paid tribute to Mr Lubbock.

“Terry’s devotion to his son and to his pursuit of justice knew no bounds,” said Detective Superintendent Stephen Jennings, who is leading the investigation into the murder and indecent assault of Stuart Lubbock.

“He was an example to many of us in his relentless quest for truth and justice.”

Mr Jennings added: “Our investigation into Stuart’s death will not end with Terry’s – as long as the case remains open, we will do all we can to deliver justice for him and his family.

“To this end we urge anyone who has information about Stuart’s death to please now, more than ever, do the right thing and come forward.”

A post-mortem examination showed that Stuart Lubbock had suffered severe internal injuries which suggested he had been sexually assaulted.

Alcohol, ecstasy and cocaine were found in his bloodstream.

A coroner recorded an open verdict.

Mr Lubbock told journalists in February that he had terminal cancer and said doctors had told him that he had months to live.

In April, he made a “final appeal” for witnesses to come forward.

“For me the clock is ticking, and time is running out,” he said. “This will be my final appeal.”

Barrymore, now 69, was arrested in 2007 but never charged with any offence.

He subsequently sued Essex Police, claiming his wrongful arrest had cost him about £2.5 million in lost earnings, but Court of Appeal judges concluded he should receive nominal damages.