A grieving family have spoken of their shock after flowers to mark the spot where a 23-year-old died were stolen.
Daniel Birch was killed when his car hit a brick pillar at the Red Brick Barn on the A5106 Wigan Road in Coppull in the early hours on Sunday, March 18.
The family of the former Albany Science College pupil placed floral tributes at the spot where he died after his funeral last Monday.
Within two hours they had been stolen by ‘callous’ thieves.
The family have now pleaded with the vandals to put them back.
Blasting their actions, dad Stuart said: “We cannot understand how anyone could be so heartless and callous to remove such personal tributes to our son, brother and grandson so soon after his funeral.
“If you have taken them, please return them to us.”
Daniel, who lived in Worthington, was a popular sportsman and played for Croston Sports Club.
He scored in the reserve team’s 4-1 win over Gillibrand Saints just hours before he was involved in the accident, after losing control of his green Ford Focus in Coppull at around 4am.
Over 400 people attended his funeral at St John’s Church in Hindley Green, which was followed by a service at Charnock Richard Crematorium and a wake at the White Crow in Wrightington.
His parents Helen and Stuart, sister Jordan and brother William, said they were ‘gutted’ to discover the flowers have been taken from the scene so soon after the funeral.
The site was also flanked by tributes from friends and other family, including a Liverpool FC shirt.
A statement from the family said: “He lived his life for every moment but his moments too few.
“He leaves a hole that can never be filled.
“He will be deeply missed, forever in our hearts, and never ever forgotten.”