ONE of Clitheroe’s best loved local figures Stephen Peter Rush died this week at the age of 65 after a long battle with cancer.

Mr Rush was known in the community for his devotion to local sports clubs and for his long standing involvement in political life.

To his family and friends though he will be best remembered for his kindness and generosity of spirit.

Wife Christine said: “People loved him so much, even some of his old adversaries have been saying what a great man he was.

“He was very good at listening to people, even when he didn’t agree with what they had to say.”

She added: “He loved Clitheroe, we’ve always been Clitheroe at heart.”

Mr Rush was born in 1954 in Whalley, Bramley Mead.

As a child he became head boy of his junior school and ran for Lancashire at age 13.

Much of Mr Rush’s professional life was spent working for Britannic Insurance in Burnley, however the local sports scene was his passion.

As chairman of Clitheroe FC his crowning glory came with reached the FA Vase final at Wembley in 1996.

That same year he secured the club’s finances by selling goalkeeper Carlo Nash for a fee of £35,000. and an ex-player with particularly fond memories is Neil Reynolds.

As spokesperson for the Clitheroe Residents Action Group he made his views on local affairs and even stood as an indepedent in the 2010.

Son Chris said: “My dad had a big voice because he was so good at building relationships through the football club.”

Daughter Danielle said: “He had time for everybody, a lot of my friends, they called him Papa Roach!”

Son Simon added: “He always loved to do things for other people rather than himself.”

Stephen Peter Rush’s funeral will be a family only affair with a celebration of his life planned for a later date.

Donations to can be made in his name via Mrs Carol Waddington, 6 The Grove, Clitheroe, BB7 2AX.