VILLAGERS battled through the snow to pay their respects to a lifelong Burnley fan who died from cancer.

Steven Hodgson, who had lived in Worsthorne since he was 17, died just three months after he was diagnosed with bowel cancer.

The village handyman, nicknamed ‘Sir Hodgy’, even managed to meet his idol, Clarets boss Sean Dyche, just before he died, and some Burnley players as part of his bucket-list visit.

Friends and family paid tribute to the 57-year-old at his funeral yesterday, which was nearly called off because of the snow and ice.

Worsthorne resident Gavin Fernavs, who had known Mr Hodgson for nearly 20 years, said it was ‘touch and go’ whether the funeral would be held at all.

Lancashire Telegraph: Burnley FC fan Steven Hodgson, 57, has died from bowl cancer three months after he was diagnosed

Burnley FC's Sean Dyche and Steven Hodgson

He said: “Steven’s grave wasn’t dug and there was about two and three foot of snow on top of it. We were panicking.”

The 33-year-old appealed for help from villagers on the ‘Worsthorne Village Life’ Facebook group.

Around 30 people turned up and started gritting the streets and clearing the snow to make sure the funeral could go ahead as planned.

The funeral director, Alderson and Horan Funeral Services Ltd, also vowed the service would go ahead despite the bad weather and made the trip to Worsthorne after running another funeral service elsewhere in Burnley at 9.30am.

In spite of the snow and cold weather, 100 people turned out to pay their respects.

The coffin was walked from his home to the church via the Bay Horse Inn, in Church Square, Mr Hodgson’s local pub.

Worsthorne Brewery named a pump in honour of ‘Sir Hodgy’ which included a picture he took with Sean Dyche in his final days.

Friends also gave ‘Hodgy’ the nickname ‘Mr Worsthorne’ as he was so well known in the village.

Mr Hodgson’s family had travelled from Newcastle for the funeral.

His brother Gary thanked everyone in the village for looking after Hodgy and for making sure the service went ahead.

Diane Green, 53, who knew him for more than 20 years and works as a nurse at Royal Blackburn Hospital, said: “It goes to show how good the village is and I want to thank everyone from the village for turning out and making sure the funeral a nice tribute for Hodgy.”