Touching tributes to keen Clarets fan and Pendle Hippodrome founder member

Alan watching his beloved Clarets
Alan watching his beloved Clarets

A hugely popular Clarets fan, loving family man and founder member of Pendle Hippodrome Theatre Company has died after a brave fight against illness.

Friend to many Alan Beecroft (66) had battled the debilitating motor neurone disease with his usual good sense of humour since being diagnosed in April, 2018.

Alan wearing his Australian hat

Alan wearing his Australian hat

His loving wife Georgina paid tribute to the man known as Beeky to his friends, who was the treasurer of Colne Clarets, and a man she said had an interest in many things.

Georgina said: "Alan and I had known each other since we were five, having gone to school together. We have been together for 17 years, and married in June, 2018, after Alan was diagnosed with motor neurone.

"It is a very cruel and debilitating disease which strips you of everything, but Alan tried to keep going and keep positive. Alan was well-liked by everybody, very kind and with a wicked sense of humour.

"He was also very generous and would always help people out. Alan was a very interesting and knowledgable man who had a lot of hobbies. His work as a gas engineer took him around the world inspecting hotel premises in far-flung places such as Gambia and Peru.

"Alan obviously was also a big Clarets fan. We always went abroad to the pre-season friendlies and made a holiday of it. He was well-known for always wearing an Australian bush hat, which will be placed on the top of his coffin.

"He also enjoyed cricket, steam trains and birdwatching, as well as nature in general."

Alan, who lived in Clitheroe, was perhaps best known for his work with Colne Clarets, organsing match day travel and tickets for Burnley supporters. Born in Nelson, he had lived in Colne for most of his life and leaves many friends from around the area.

He had been a Clarets since being taken on the Turf as a young boy with his father in the 1950s.

He was also heavily involved behind the scenes with Pendle Hippodrome Theatre Company for many years.

Alan leaves son Simon, step-daughter Francesca, three grandchildren and other relatives.

His funeral will be held on Friday at 10am at Burnley Crematorium. His funeral cortege will pass Burnley Football Club at 9-15am before proceeding to the crematorium where around 200 mourners are expected.