A TOWN crier from East Lancashire who travelled around the world and made a name for himself in America has died.

Michael Redmond O' Connell grew up in Valley View, Grindleton, Clitheroe.

After attending Grindleton C of E Primary School he studied at Settle College before joining the merchant navy aged 16.

He went on to travel around the world before moving to the United States in his early 20s, becoming known as 'Redmond O' Colonies' in his adopted home of California.

Michael's sister, Elizabeth Clemons, said: "Michael was handsome, witty, multi-talented and a kind man.

"He will be sadly missed by his family.

"He was well loved here and gave so much to so many people.

"Michael donated his organs which he decided to do before his death.

"He gave life to at least two people we know of so far.

"The awful thing is that he was due to fly into the UK on Saturday because we were going to a trip on the Amalfi Coast in Italy next week.

"His grandfather was from Grindleton and also called Redmond O Connell.

"He, like Michael, was a great storyteller from Grindleton.

"He changed his name to Redmond O' Colonies when he moved to the United States in his early 20s."

For most of his life Michael, 66, who also became a hugely successful Bocce player and had a great interest in music, was a town crier.

Clitheroe town crier Roland Hailwood met Redmond at the World Championships for town crying in the Isle of Wight over 20 years ago.

Mr Hailwood, who has been Clitheroe town crier for 33 years, said: "I knew Michael through town crying.

"He originally came from Grindleton.

"I did not know anything about him before the Isle of Wight but we always kept in touch.

"He bought a boat and went around the world sailing.

"He was very much an adventurer and did some local radio in San Francisco.

"I was very sad about it when I first heard the news.

"I think all of us have to be egotistical to a point to be a town crier.

"He wandered the world but kept coming home, which was Martinez when he had left the UK."

Ken Knowles, Lichfield Staffordshire Town Crier, said: “I first met Redmond in Kingston, Canada.

“Redmond stood head and shoulders above anyone for his ability to engage an audience.

“He had a wealth of anecdotal stories and a repertoire of Music Hall material which he could perform at the drop of a hat.

“He was a brilliant entertainer and bon viveur.

“Two years later we met again, this time the tournament being held in New Zealand.

“Once again Redmond held court and kept everyone in a great mood and continued the entertainment

“RIP Redmond. Your bell will ring in in heaven.”