Dale Bennett, from Mayfield in Midlothian, was stabbed in the early hours of Saturday morning and was taken by ambulance to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary but died a short time later from his injuries.
Police were called to the scene on Newbyres Crescent in Gorebridge, Midlothian at around 2.20am on Saturday following reports of a large scale disturbance.
Dale’s long-term girlfriend, Nicole Ormiston, said: “I got a phone call saying he was in hospital. I went straight there and when I got in they said I just need to take a seat.
“I said I wanted to see him but they said ‘sorry, he’s passed away’.
“He had a heart of gold, he was absolutely amazing and was always happy. He was loving and caring and such good fun.
“We had been going out for five years and now he’s gone forever. I just can’t believe it.
“He was really into his football, he was good at that, and he loved going to the gym, keeping fit and socializing with his pals.
“His best pal was Luke, they were like brothers; so close. He knew more about me and Dale’s relationship than I did.
“He was just a fabulous, brilliant guy; he was loved by many and never once had an enemy.”
Dale had recently left school at Newbattle Community High School in Dalkeith and started work as an apprentice steeplejack at local firm Zenith.
Nicole added: “He was really pleased about getting the job. I remember him coming in after he got it looking so happy.
“He said ‘I’m Dale Bennett and I’m the Jack’.”
Nearly 700 friends, family and schoolmates have visited a Facebook tribute page to Dale and have left message showing their shock and devastation.
Dale’s parents, Garry and Michelle Bennett, were too upset to speak publically but said in a police statement: “He was a wonderful son, brother, grandson, uncle and nephew and was a very caring and loving person and we are struggling to accept he is no longer with us.
“Dale was an outgoing young man, extremely popular and lived life to the full. He was excited about his new job with Zenith where he worked as a steeplejack.
“Dale enjoyed being part of a loving family and was close to his Mum to whom he could talk about anything and everything, as she was a good listener.
“A typical big brother, he used to torment his little sister Tiegan but in reality he loved her with all his heart. He also had great affection for his girlfriend Nicole.
“Dale was passionate about sport, was a loyal Hearts fan and loved playing 5-a-sides at Newtongrange with his Dad and older brother Gary.
“One of the highlights for him was playing in a charity football match with his dad and brother against the Hibs Legends.”
A 20-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with his murder and is due to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today (Mon).