Detectives probe football link after Blackpool FC fan is killed

The scene of the attack in Park Road, St Annes. Below: Barry Kirkham.
The scene of the attack in Park Road, St Annes. Below: Barry Kirkham.
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Stunned friends of a man who died after he was assaulted outside a town centre takeaway today paid tribute to a “gentle giant”.

Two men remain in custody after police launched a murder investigation following the death of 47-year-old Barry Kirkham in St Annes.

Barry Kirkham

Barry Kirkham

The supermarket worker had been celebrating the life of his friend John Chandler after a funeral on Monday when he was attacked outside Zeko’s takeaway on Park Road at around 11pm.

Mr Kirkham was rushed to hospital but was tragically dead on arrival.

It is believed Mr Kirkham, a lifelong Blackpool FC fan, had got into a football-related argument prior to the assault.

Today, as friends remembered a “generous, loving person”, Blackpool FC said they would pay their own special tribute to Mr Kirkham.

Police launch murder probe

Police launched a murder probe following the death of Barry Kirkham after he was assaulted on a St Annes Street.

A post mortem was carried out yesterday afternoon, although the results have not yet been made public.

It is believed Mr Kirkham, of Walter Avenue, died from a head injury.

Det Supt Andy Murphy from Lancashire Police’s Major Investigation Team, said: “This is a tragic incident and an investigation is underway to establish the circumstances of exactly what happened.

“Specially trained family liaison officers are supporting the victim’s family.

“I’d reassure people this is an isolated incident and extra officers are out patrolling the area.”

No information has been released about how the assault began or who else was involved.

A 32-year-old man from St Annes has been arrested on suspicion of murder and a 45-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assault.

Both were today in police custody being questioned by detectives.

Witnesses to the incident are urged to call police on 101.

PICK UP A COPY OF WEDNESDAY’S GAZETTE FOR FULL STORY AND TRIBUTES TO BARRY KIRKHAM AND FEEL FREE TO LEAVE YOUR MEMORIES BELOW.

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