Tributes for popular John

MOURNED: John Haydock
MOURNED: John Haydock

Tributes have been paid to a football stalwart, who died earlier this week.

John Haydock was the driving force behind the Chorley and District Alliance League for more than six decades.

The 81-year-old was often seen on the touchlines at Astley Park, writing match reports and arranging the games and referees.

John died suddenly on Sunday at Chorley and South Ribble District General Hospital after he was admitted four days earlier, with suspected food poisoning.

The local football community has been shocked by the news, and many have paid tribute to the well-known stalwart.

Son Michael said: “He was secretary of Chorley Football Club in 1955-56 season, and then took over the Chorley and District League in 1958.

“Everybody in the league knew him, and some people have told me that he was a legend.

“He was a really popular guy, and single-handedly ran the league up until the past few years when he got some help.

“He also played cricket for Chorley in the 1960s too.”

The former Balshaw’s High School pupil received a Chorley Smile award from Chorley Council in 2008 for services to sport.

He leaves behind his wife Pamela, sons Michael and Peter, daughter Susan, son-in-law John, and granddaughter Annabel.

Mr Haydock will also be remembered as a science teacher at Southlands High School, where he worked for 28 years until he retired in 1987.

School officials have also described Mr Haydock as a “jovial man and an excellent team player”.

Deputy eadteacher Brian Souter, who taught with him, said: “John was a popular teacher here for almost 30 years.

“He was a real gentleman and was a very warm and caring character.”

A funeral date has not been arranged, but anyone wanting more information should contact Liveseys Funeral Directors on 01257 262602.