TRIBUTES have been paid to a Wigan football stalwart who was tragically killed while out cycling last week.
Tommy Berry, 58, sustained fatal injuries when he was in a collision with a black Fiat Punto on Meadow Lane in Croston last Tuesday evening.
Mr Berry, who lived in Wigan, was a huge Latics fan, attending both home and away games.
He was also a popular figure on the local amateur scene too in both the Wigan Amateur League for Bethel and Wigan Sunday League for Beech Hill.
During his many years in the game, in which he also coached, he made many friends.
Dave Orrell, secretary for the Wigan Amateur League, paid tribute to Mr Berry, describing him as a “great guy and sportsman”.
“Tommy was a stalwart of local football for many years,” he said.
“He was a combative midfielder who would give no quarter. However he was a great guy and sportsman who was a keen Wigan Athletic supporter.
“Tommy was loved and well respected throughout the local football scene and will be sorely missed.
“The Wigan Amateur League send their sincere condolences to Tommy’s family and friends.”
One of Mr Berry’s former opponents, now a referee, Neil Ellison also said: “I had one or two tussles with Tommy and still got the bruises but he was a nice guy and we always had a good crack.”
Wigan Athletic also paid a touching tribute to Mr Berry in their matchday magazine.
The article, featured in the programme from Saturday’s game against Stoke, said: “Wigan Athletic were saddened to hear of the sudden passing of lifelong supporter Tommy Berry this week following a tragic road traffic accident.
“Fifty-eight-year-old Tommy of Rivington Avenue, a former Junior Latics coach and plumber by trade, was a loyal ‘home and away’ fan who lived for his team and watched Wigan Athletic pass through from non-league days at Springfield Park right through to the Premier League.
“He was at Anfield last week to celebrate one of the club’s finest ever moments.
“The club wishes to extend its sincere condolences to his family and close friends. The Latics family has lost one of its most colourful and best loved characters who will be sadly missed by all who knew him.”
Tommy’s funeral is tomorrow (Thursday, April 5) at St Mary’s Church, Standishgate at noon.
Mr Berry leaves behind his wife Catherine and daughter Sarah.
Should anybody wish to make any donations in memory of Tommy, the family have asked they be made to the Brake Charity who aim to promote awareness of road safety issues and care for road crash victims through a number of different services and campaigns.
Donations can be made via www.brake.org or his daughter’s fund-raising page at www.justgiving.com/sarah-berry1.