A FAMILY has paid tribute to a man described as the gentle man of Lancashire schools' football scene.

Jim Hayhurst, an 84-year-old widower, died at Nazareth House in Preston New Road, Blackburn.

And family and friends gathered to pay tribute to the former teacher and Blackburn Rovers' scout at St Peter's Church in Mill Hill yesterday.

All donations in his memory are being used to buy a trophy and the Lancashire Schools FA Association has agreed to create a cup competition in his honour.

Mr Hayhurst had two children, Michael and Kathleen, and a granddaughter Laura. He was well known in the town and was involved with Blackburn and Darwen Schools Town Team for many years.

He captained Blackburn's schools team in his youth and had lifelong links with the sport at county level.

The keen Blackburn Rovers supporter had hopes to play as a professional and was due to sign for Bolton Wanderers when injury wrecked his ambitions.

He worked as a joiner and taught woodwork at Bangor Street School before moving on to Pleckgate High School.

His daughter Kathleen said: "My father was a lovely gentle man who was well known wherever he went.

"He was involved in schools football all through his life and that was his passion."

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