'Funny and kind' Blackpool man who died after being found unresponsive in town centre identified by heartbroken family

John Lydon, centre, the day before he died. Pictured with nephew Liam Gibson and his girlfriend Jodie O'Kelly
John Lydon, centre, the day before he died. Pictured with nephew Liam Gibson and his girlfriend Jodie O'Kelly
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A man who died after being found unresponsive in Blackpool town centre has been named as a 'charitable' local landlord and shop owner who was the 'life of the party'.

Family man John Lydon, 57, was found on Albert Road at around 5am on Saturday, March 23. He was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

John Lydon with his twin Verna

John Lydon with his twin Verna

His death is not being treated as suspicious. He is believed to have fallen and hit his head.

His nephew Liam Gibson, 31, who visited John from Derby the day before his death, said: "He was the funniest person in the family. He was the life of the party and had everybody howling with laughter the minute he walked through the door.

"He was the kindest person I ever met. If somebody asked me who the kindest person I knew was, I'd say John."

John, who lived on Stanley Road, visited Hogarths on Clifton Street and the new Slug and Lettuce on Queen Street with Liam and his girlfriend Jodie O'Kelly on the Friday night.

John with his siblings'Left to right: Paula, Marion, John, Verna (sitting), Joan, Terry and Colette

John with his siblings'Left to right: Paula, Marion, John, Verna (sitting), Joan, Terry and Colette

The trio parted ways at around 3.50am the following day, and Liam and Jodie returned to their B&B on Vance Road.

Later that day Liam went to Stanley Road but found his uncle was not at home. He filed a missing persons report and was contacted by detectives a short time later.

Liam said: "He was a great family man. He cooked me and my girlfriend a huge four-course meal, we were together the whole day and he seemed absolutely fine.

"We had a brilliant night, we were crying with laughter the whole night long, and I'm lucky to have those memories.

John Lydon with his twin Verna

John Lydon with his twin Verna

"We are all in shock by the news and it's completely tragic. He was only 57.

"We're such a big family so we have got so much support. Obviously we are broken, but we're all here together in the right place, surrounded by all his photos."

John, who moved from Derby to Blackpool 10 years ago, owned a second-hand furniture shop on Lytham Road and was the landlord of several flats around the town.

There will be a celebration of his life at the Raffles Hotel on Hornby Road, Blackpool, tomorrow at 2pm. All his friends are welcome to attend.

Raffles owner Graham Poole, who organised the event with co-owner Ian Barmforth, said: "John was always helpful to anyone who needed help. He was very charitable. It's just a shame he has died so early.

"It's totally out of the blue and unexpected. Everybody is just at a loss. It's like there's an emptiness left behind.

"He spoke to everybody he passed on the street. Everybody knew him in Blackpool town centre. He was always there with a tea or coffee."

John leaves behind his twin Verna, brother Terry, sisters Marion, Paula, Joan and Colette, and 15 nieces and nephews.

His funeral will take place at a date to be arranged.