‘He touched so many lives’

Derek Russell
Derek Russell
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The devastated friends and family of a loving Blackpool grandfather killed in a horror crash today paid an emotional tribute to a “larger than life character.”

Derek Russell, 52, of Belmont Avenue, in the town, died after he lost control of his Peugeot 307 car and hit a lamp post in Broughton, Preston.

The grandfather, who worked as a butcher, was rushed to Royal Preston Hospital after the collision at around 3.30pm Tuesday but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Today his devastated wife of 11 years Sam paid tribute to a “loving” family man and said his tragic death had impacted lives across the resort.

She said: “Derek lived an interesting and fun filled life with love and laughter and touched many hearts along the way.

“A popular guy with a huge personality, it is a truly tragic loss of a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, and friend to many.”

Mr Russell, a keen Glasgow Rangers fan and a member of the True Blues Blackpool-based Rangers supporters’ club , had spent 25 years living in the resort after moving here from his native Scotland and was known to many in the town.

Mrs Russell added: “He worked as a butcher for most of his life and was very well known in the local pubs and social club scene.

“ – he loved playing pool, snooker and darts and won lots of trophies as a result.

“His death leaves a massive hole in lots of people’s lives – he will be sadly missed.”

Mr Russell used to be a regular customer at Qs Snooker Club, on Lytham Road, among others.

Owner Karl Bowman said: “He was a larger than life character who lived life to the full.

“He was a regular here a number of years ago. He played for some of the pool teams and enjoyed it.

“People got on well with him – he was a character.”

Mr Russell’s ex-wife wrote on Facebook on Tuesday night: “Another sad day for my family. Today my ex husband , Derek Russell , and the father of my two beautiful girls was taken from us.

“He has gone but we won’t ever forget him. RIP.”

Police and paramedics were called shortly after 3.30pm to the accident on Eastway, near Broughton, after reports a Peugeot 307 had collided with a lamp-post. No other vehicles were involved.

Sgt Dave Hogarth, of the Road Policing Unit, said: “This was a tragic incident and our thoughts are with Mr Russell’s family and friends.

“We are investigating the circumstances of the collision and I would appeal for anyone with information to get in touch.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 101.