TRIBUTES have been paid to a former RAF pilot and Royal British Legion stalwart.

Tommy Fox died age 67 at Hope House in Clayton-le-Moors in the early hours of Monday, April 9.

Initially from Dublin, father-of-five Mr Fox served in the Irish territorial army and in the RAF, before he moved to Accrington around 1980 to be closer to his family.

He went on to be a stalwart of the Royal British Legion in the area, filling various roles and helping with poppy appeals up until November last year.

He died from lung cancer after a 12 month battle since he was first diagnosed in April last year.

Son Richard Fox,30, who was with his father when he died, said he has been touched by the tributes paid to him since his death.

He said: “He didn’t complain about it at all and he tried to be as positive as possible.

“He was a very proud man and he would always give help to people in need.

“He brought me up as a single parent from the age of 10.

“Speaking to people around the town about him it’s amazing, we’ve had so many kind words.

“He’ll be very much missed by a lot of people.

“It was a little bit hard to take, he was such a wonderful man.”

He was also the bugler for the Royal British Legion branch until he became ill and also did charity work raising funds for different charities.

The loved grandfather was a keen Manchester United fan and was also a follower of the Irish Rugby union team and a big fan of television quiz shows.

He was also youth coordinator for the branch and created the cadets pool tournament, and the cadet cup was recently renamed the Tommy Fox Cadet Trophy in his honour.

A spokesman for Accrington Royal British Legion said: “He was without a doubt a stalwart within our branch and will be sorely missed.”

The funeral will take place at Accrington Cemetery and Crematorium in Burnley Road on Wednesday from 2.20pm.