TRIBUTES have been paid to one of Burnley FC’s biggest fans who has died of cancer.

Just three months after he was diagnosed with bowel cancer, Steven Hodgson, 57, from Worsthorne, died.

But he managed to meet his idol, Clarets boss Sean Dyche, just before he succumbed to his illness, and some Burnley players on bucket-list visit.

Steven was a well-known character in the village and was even described by friends as ‘Mr Worsthorne’.

When Steven was first diagnosed, on November 30, he was told he had up to 12 months to live.

The village handyman constructed a bucket list of things to do before he died, which included having a chippy tea on the coast of Southport, watching aeroplanes take off from Manchester Airport, drive a go kart in Colne and meeting the stars from soap Emmerdale and the Queen.

While Steven, nicknamed ‘Sir Hodgy’, was unable to complete his whole bucket list, the 57-year-old man did accomplish one of his main objectives - a face-to-face meeting with Dyche.

Gary Jones, who has known Steven for 40 years, said: “Steven was a real character. He was a loveable rogue.

“We – his friends and the community – knighted him ourselves which is where he got the name Sir Hodgy from.

“It was like a legend which fit because he was a legend in his own unique way.

“After he was diagnosed with cancer a team of a dozen people came together to look after him.

“Everyone pulled together helped him do things like washing and cooking his meals.

“It restored my faith in mankind.”

Talking about Steven’s visit to Burnley FC, Gary said: “Burnley Football Club were amazing with him and invited him down and the players.

“He sat in the press conference room and absolutely loved it.

“Sean Dyche was brilliant with him.”

Worsthorne resident Gavin Fernavs, who has known Steven for more than 15 years, described him as ‘the life and soul’ of the village.

He said: “Hodgy was a massive Burnley fan and I went to a few matches with him.

“There was never a bad bone in his body.

“He was the life and soul of the village.

“He was Mr Worsthorne.”

Diane Green, 53, who has known Steven for more than 20 years and works as a nurse at Royal Blackburn Hospital, said:

“He was our mascot for the village and he will be sorely missed by everyone here.”

Cllr Andrew Newhouse, who represents the area and used to play darts with Steven at Worsthorne Social Club, said: “If you go to any of the pubs everyone will know who Steven is.

“He loved to socialise with his friends.

“He was a caring man and was willing to help anybody out.”

Steven’s funeral will be held from 1pm on Thursday at Worsthorne Church after the coffin is walked from his home to the church.