Catherine (Cat) Dodsworth. Picture: Supplied.

Tributes have been paid to a former West Norfolk mum who died unexpectedly in her sleep at the age of 45.

Catherine Dodsworth (nee Barker) grew up in West Winch and despite moving away, returned to the area on a regular basis.

The mum-of-two died of natural causes at her Manchester home at the end of last month.

She had been a pupil at St James School (now Eastgate Academy) where her mother Barbara was a teacher.

Mrs Dodsworth was also a student at Gaywood Park (now Park Academy) where she was a keen musician, playing the violin.

She met her future husband Martyn at Salford University and they married in 2001. The couple had two sons, Sam, 8, and Ben, 6.

“Facebook has been ablaze with warm tributes and I know my boys and parents are touched by so much love,” said Mr Dodsworth.

Hundreds of people have posted photographs, tributes and memories on his wife’s Facebook page and more than 150 people are expected at her funeral today in Sale.

Mrs Dodsworth, who returned  to take part in the Grand East Anglia Run in King’s Lynn each May, was one of the founder members of the Sale Dragons Running Club.

She had signed-up for this year’s event and was due to take part with friend from West Norfolk on May 1. She was also to have taken part in the Greater Manchester Half Marathon last Sunday but a group of friends completed the course in her memory.

A fundraising page for the event has raised more than £4,478 for Mrs Dodsworth’s chosen charity, Mind.

Mr Dodsworth is urging friends of his late-wife to share their tributes.

“If you knew her, please find ways to celebrate her life, however solemn or silly. Tell stories of her, share memories  and photos and let her live on.”

Donations can still be made to Mind in Mrs Dodsworth’s memory via the Virgin Moneygiving website. Search for St Annes Running Mum’s Fundraising page.