Tributes have been paid to an “enormously popular” father-of-three who was killed in a horror motorway crash.
Alan Walmsley, 62, of Mardale Road, Longridge, was driving a Spar lorry and trailer on the M6 north of Burton-in-Kendal at 8.15am on Monday, when it was involved in an eight-vehicle pile up.
Officers believe that a large shunt occurred while some of the vehicles were stationary in traffic.
A team of around 30 police officers and 25 other emergency crews were deployed to the scene, but Mr Walmsley and fellow lorry driver Michael Raymond Proctor, 22, of Southport, died at the scene.
Mr Walmsley had been secretary of AFC Longridge for the past 10 years.
Lancashire Sunday League chairman Eamonn McNamara said that Mr Walmsley was “kind, considerate and unassuming”.
He said: “Everybody liked Alan and there was never a bad word to be said about him.
“He was part of the furniture in the league and an absolute pleasure to work with.”
“Over my time with the league there has been some terrible times when people have tragically lost their lives, but I have never in my life experienced anything like this.
“The number of people who contacted me on Monday was unbelievable. The phone didn’t stop ringing until 11pm.”
Tom Bamber, sports development officer for Ribble Valley Council, said: “In recent years, if it hadn’t been for Alan’s tireless volunteering and commitment there wouldn’t have been a Sunday morning football scene.
“He was constantly telephoning people to play to get them out of bed, putting the nets up, organising the kit, sorting the paperwork, meeting the referee – the list was endless.
“Many people who played for Alan (myself included) would be able to recount several funny stories from their time playing football on a Sunday morning down on Mardale playing fields or the away trips that he organised.
“His dry sense of humour would always have people in stitches. These memories will live with me forever.”
As a mark of respect, the AFC Longridge match scheduled for this weekend has been cancelled.
A minute’s silence in Alan’s memory will also be held before all games on Sunday, March 10.
Ian Hall, of James Hall & Co. Ltd, which runs Spar shops, said: Alan was quite simply a great employee – popular with customers and staff alike, generous of spirit and a thoroughly nice person.”
Mr Walmsley leaves a wife, Jacqueline, children Jason, Ian and Donna and siblings Gary, Malcolm, Neil and Elaine.
None of the other six drivers involved in the crash suffered life-threatening injuries.
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Weather for Longridge
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: South west
Temperature: 9 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: South