HEARTFELT tributes have poured in for a popular Blackburn man who died after being attacked in the town centre.

His parents, Pat and David Rogers, today said they were “devastated” by the tragic loss of their “gentle, generous and attentive” son.

They described Adam as a keen sportsman who loved football and was dedicated to his coaching post at Padiham Ladies Football Team.

Kevin McMahon, principal of St Mary’s College, where Adam had studied A levels, said: “Adam was kind, funny, gentle, caring, talented and extremely popular,” he said.

Mr and Mrs Rogers, of Dukes Brow, Blackburn said: “We are devastated by this tragic loss. Adam was the most loving, gentle, generous and attentive young man.”

The couple said their son rarely went out at night into the town but on this occasion he had met up with friends he had not seen for some time.

In a family statement, the couple said: “Adam wasn't a club goer and only went out occasionally to town, preferring to visit friends at their homes.

“This night out was special as he was aiming to see friends that he hadn't seen for sometime and we know he was really looking forward to it. He saw lots of good friends out that night who had missed him whilst he had been living out of the area.”

Mr and Mrs Rogers said their son had loved sport and had a strong sense of fair play.

They said: “Adam was inquisitive, he questioned thing and was curious. He was a keen sportsman and he loved his football as well as walking and cycling.

“He coached Padiham Ladies Football team and was very dedicated. He had previously played for St Bedes, St Mary's College, St Martins west view and Darwen Rangers.

"When Adam played, he played fair. He had a strong sense that everything should be fair.”

Adam, who had been working temporarily for a local coach company, was a former pupil at St Bede’s RC High School and St Mary’s College in Blackburn and the University of Cumbria, where he took a degree in coaching and sports performance.

He had recently returned to the family home from the Lake District after splitting with his girlfriend.

Gary Mills, manager of Padiham Ladies football team said he “felt like he’d lost a son”.

Mr Mills added that the whole squad was “devastated” by the news of Adam’s death.

“Adam was eager to learn things off me and hugely committed,” he said.

“He had moved to Ulverston a while ago to be with a girlfriend, and I said to him that I’d understand if he couldn’t continue helping us any more, but he would hear nothing of it.

“Such was his dedication, he drove from Ulverston to Padiham every Wedne-sday for an hour’s training session, and again for matches at weekends.

“He was such a positive, peace-loving lad. He was always a peacemaker.

“Not only have we lost a very good coach, but I feel like I’ve lost a son.”

Adam had been a coach for Padiham Ladies Football Team for two years after replying to an advert in the Lancashire Telegraph.

He was studying for football coaching badges at the time he died.

Padiham Ladies Football Club team member Kim Parkinson, 37, from the Coalclough area of Burnley, said: “Adam was a superb guy.

“He was just a very decent, genuine bloke.”

Des Callaghan, head teacher at specialist sports college St Bede's, Blackburn, said: “There are a number of staff still at the school who remember Adam and we are shocked and deeply saddened to hear of his tragic death.

“He was very well respected, a thoroughly lovely lad who we were very proud to have.

“Our sympathies and prayers are with his family.”

Kevin McMahon, principal of St Mary’s College, Blackburn, where Adam studied A levels, said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Adam’s family in this terrible time.

“Adam was kind, funny, gentle, caring, talented and extremely popular.

“He will be very much missed by everyone who knew him.”

Dr Liz Mallabon, Adam’s personal tutor for his degree in coaching and sports performance at the University of Cumbria, said: “We are all shocked to hear the news. “Adam was very passionate about sport.

“He was quiet and unassuming and the last person you would imagine this happening to. He was liked by everyone.”

School friend Nick Turner, 24, said that Adam Rogers was "the least likely person to get into a drunken fight".

He said: "He never picked fights. To people who didn't know him, he was very quiet.

"He was a happy-go-lucky sort who loved football and every aspect of sport."

If you would like to pay tribute to Adam, or pass on your condolences to his family, please add your comments below.