Chorley rugby ace dies, aged 40

A popular rugby player from Chorley has lost his brave battle against cancer.

Andy Evans, 40, has been described by family and friends as a happy go lucky man with an infectious personality.

The welder and supervisor, of Mayfield Road, Chorley, was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in October after suffering stomach problems, which were first believed to be caused by gallstones.

He lost his brave battle against the condition at St Catherine's Hospice on January 12 surrounded by his family.

He leaves behind his wife Sharon and two young sons Joseph, 11, and Thomas, seven. Sharon said Andy had been determined to battle the cancer.

She said: "Andy was very brave in wanting to fight it and was so strong. We only got told on January 4 that he could not get any more treatment and even then he kept asking for more chemotherapy."

Andy worked at Main Road Sheet Metal Limited, in Leyland, and was well-known around Chorley.

Sharon added: "Andy always had time to listen and speak to people when he was out and about.

"He seemed to know everyone and was extremely outgoing.

"One of our happiest memories was when I organised a surprise trip to York for his 40th birthday.

"He had told us that he didn't want a lot of fuss and he thought it was wonderful that I had managed to pull it off without him finding out.

"He was very proud of his two boys as well. He would give them anything they wanted because he told me that they melted his heart."

Aside from gardening and DIY, Andy's real passion was for rugby league. He played for Wigan St Patrick's RL club and Adlington Rangers, where he finished his career in a testimonial game for Martin Hill in 2007 and scored two tries.

One of his former team-mates from Adlington Rangers, Gary Prescott, said: "Andy was an exceptional player with a fantastic enthusiasm for the game.

"He was also a person who would go out of his way to speak about and pass on his knowledge of the game to anyone.

"He will be sadly missed by those who knew him and our thoughts are with his wonderful family at this sad time."

Andy's funeral will take place on Friday at St Peter's Church on Harpers Lane Chorley at 2.45pm.

* Tributes sent to christopher.maguire@lep.co.uk