THE best friend of a motorcyclist killed in Sawley has paid tribute to a ‘hugely positive man’.

Dad-of-three Ronnie Birch, 39, of Darwen, died when his motorbike collided with a HGV near to the entrance of the Dunbia abattoir on the A59 on Friday.

Both vehicles had been travelling towards Gisburn when the crash happened.

Ronnie, orginally of Great Harwood, but living in Darwen, met friend Ben Cradock 10 years ago while socialising in a pub, and the pair soon became firm friends.

Ben, 28, said: “Ronnie had such a positive personality. Any situation you were in with Ronnie was a good situation. No matter how busy his life was, he always made time to see you, call you or text you.

“He was also a dedicated family man and adored his children.

“He was a real charmer and was really into his motorbikes and his cars, and he always had nice ones like Range Rovers.

“Ronnie was somebody I aspired to be. He had a nice house, a nice car and a lovely family. Everyone he knew looked up to him.

“His death has left a massive hole in all of our lives, because he was the centre of everything.

“We spoke to one another every other night on the phone, and now it’s not going to be the same going out without him.

“His death is a massive loss for all of us.”

Ronnie was a director of home care company Domiciliary Care Services (UK) Ltd, based in Clitheroe, and used to run the Jimmy Clitheroe cafe in Clitheroe.

He leaves wife Debbie, children Chelsie, Jordan and Brooke, parents Jean and Alan, brother Alan and sister Nicola.

Nicola said that Ronnie’s family “echoed everything Ben has said”.

Ben has created a tribute page for Ronnie with anecdotes and photographs, at http:// Funeral arrangements are still being planned.