TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular football club founder who died after a seven-month battle with motor neurone disease.

David Hadfield, 61, helped set up Pendle Blues FC with his son in 2006, and was also chairman of the Pendle Charity League.

League treasurer Colin Taylor said Mr Hadfield was ‘a friend to everyone’.

Last month, the Lancashire Telegraph reported how 28 of Mr Hadfield’s family and friends from Laneshaw Bridge were preparing to tackle the Manchester 10K in May to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

His eldest son, Sebastian, 26, said Mr Hadfield’s condition had ‘gone downhill really quickly’.

Colin, who knew David for eight years, said: “It’s a bit of a shock really. He was one of those people who was so popular.

“He was a friend to everyone. He was a big Oldham Athletic fan, a mine of information about the club. If you named him a game he could tell you all the players, who scored, how he knew the players – everything.

“I have never met a more genuine person.”

David, of School Lane, Laneshaw Bridge, founded fire safety firm Pendle Nu-Tech 21 years ago and was well-respected within the business community.

As well as Sebastian, he is also survived by another son, Jordan, 24, and his wife Tina.

Colin said the Pendle Charity League had already decided to rename its shield after David, and was planning a fundraising tournament in his memory.

He said: “He had been chairman for the last four years. He gave a lot of time to the league.

“I also knew him through work and he would come in to do the fire tests and always had time to speak.

“It really is a shame. He will be sadly missed.”

Visit /TheAlmaInnManc10k to support the team running for David’s cause.