Chef dies of suspected swine flu

A chef at a Chorley pub has died of suspected swine flu.

Stephen Hall has been described by his colleagues at the Dressers Arms as 'the salt of the earth' after he died in hospital on Saturday evening.

He had started with flu like symptoms at home on Christmas Day and died at the Royal Bolton Hospital after being admitted on New Years Eve.

The 45-year-old leaves behind his devastated wife, children and a new grand-daughter.

Steve Turner, landlord of the Wheelton pub, said: "It is a tragedy and everyone at the pub is shocked and saddened.

"Steve was an extremely good chef and he would always get on with his work and have a good laugh with the lads.

"He was the carvery chef on a Sunday, which is our busiest day, and he was well-liked by our regulars who have now started a collection in his memory.

"You couldn't meet a nicer guy than Steve and he will be sadly missed by everyone at the pub. Our thoughts are with his family."

The grandfather, who lived in Westhoughton, had shown no signs of illness before Christmas Day, but his condition deteriorated and he suffered from pneumonia.His life support machine was switched off on Saturday.

Cause of death has not yet been confirmed, but it is believed to be swine flu.

* Send tributes to christopher.maguire@lep.co.uk