Family and friends have paid tribute to a 21-year-old chef who was discovered dead in a country lane.
Rhys Davies is thought to have been involved in a collision with a vehicle in New Lane, Eccleston.
Police were called to the lane shortly before 3.40am on Sunday after receiving a report that a man had been found injured in the road.
Rhys was pronounced dead at the scene.
His father Jon is landlord at the Rose and Crown pub, on Southport Road in Ulnes Walton.
A family statement paying tribute to Rhys said: “Rhys was a 21-year-old man who worked as a chef with his dad in his local pub.
“He was very laid back in his outlook and always had a big smile on his face.
“He was a man of few words, but when he spoke, people listened. His death will leave a big hole in the lives of family and friends.”
Staff at the pub were left shocked and devastated.
Fellow chef Michelle Wilkes, 39, of Ulnes Walton Lane, said: “I worked with Rhys. We are both chefs here. He was a good buddy, a good giggle, always smiling.
“He was an animal lover, so in my eyes he was god.
“He was a really nice lad.
“We’re totally devastated. We can’t believe it.”
Kitchen prep worker Jackie Bolton, 52, of Southport Road, said; “I worked with him in the kitchen and he’s a cracking lad. Couldn’t fault him in any way. He was good to work with, good to socialise with.
“We just want him back.”
Martin Trafford, 58, of Eccleston, who helps out at the pub, said: “I’ve known the family for a long time.
“It is a massive shock.
“The worst part of it was we’d been raising money all day for charity, for the Southport Spinal Unit, it was a family fun day on Saturday, and at the end of the day we have this massive tragedy.
“All the locals and staff chipped in to make it a really, really fun day and it ended in tragedy.”
Kitchen helper Jack Fiddler, 20, of the Wymott estate, said: “I had a good laugh with him and stuff.
“He was a very good friend. I had a drink with him when we finished work.
“It’s a shame, everybody is upset.
“You don’t really expect it when he’s twenty one.
“It’s not long since he had his twenty first, a month ago.”
A post mortem examination will be carried out to try to establish the exact cause of death but early indications suggest he was involved in a collision with a vehicle.
Police believe Rhys was walking home from the Rose and Crown where he had been working when the accident happened.
A 47-year-old man from Croston was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and has been bailed pending further enquiries.
Detective Superintendent Andy Webster, of the Force Major Investigation Team, is leading the investigation.
He said: “We are currently working to build up a picture of events surrounding this young man’s death.
“Early indications suggest that he has been involved in a collision with a vehicle as he walked along the road and I would appeal for anyone who was in the area of New Lane, Eccleston, between the hours of 3.10am and 4am on Sunday and who may have any information to come forward to report it to the police.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting log number 0258 of Sunday, August 10, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.