FORMER Rossendale town crier Nigel Hilton-Smith has died in Spain just three weeks after leaving the Valley to make a new life with his wife Louise.

Nigel, 48, was a colourful character and as the unofficial town crier from 1989 to 1991 he promoted the borough at various events including Rossendale Carnival, Haslingden Street Fair and Waterfoot Medieval Day.

He was landlord at the Roebuck, Scoutbottom, Waterfoot, for two years before moving on to manage the Rose 'n' Bowl in Stacksteads.

In 1994 he became the manager of Horace's Niteclub, Bacup.

Nigel was also a well-known DJ on the club scene and through his own business Alpha Discos he worked in pubs and clubs throughout East Lancashire for more than 15 years.

In December he had £10,000 worth of disco equipment stolen from the back of his van parked outside his home in Whitewell Bottom.

Latterly he was a community correspondent for the Lancashire Evening Telegraph, reporting news from the Rossendale area. The couple held a farewell party at Rossendale United Social Club in February.

Louise's mum Jean said: "He was in hospital for just over a week and in the end it was his heart that failed.

"He had been ill in England and was hoping the climate out there would be good for his health.

"They had been to Torremolinos for holidays for several years and they had made a lot of contacts out there.

"They felt their prospects would be better in Spain. Nigel was doing DJ work and Louise was managing a restaurant."

Louise's parents were due to fly out to Spain today to be with their daughter.

Mrs Teasdale added: "Louise is staying with friends and colleagues out there.

"They had not got round to buying an apartment yet.

"We don't know what she is going to want to do but if she wants to come home she can come back to us if depends how she feels about the job."

Nigel and Louise, 30, were married in a beach ceremony in Jamaica and celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary on March 3.

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