TOUCHING tributes have been paid to a much-loved amateur rugby player who died last week.
Anthony Hughes was found dead at his Springfield home last Thursday, devastating his many friends and family.
Today, the amateur rugby club he served with distinction has paid tribute to a much-loved player and treasured young man.
The 30-year-old played for Wigan St Pat’s first and second teams for many years, displaying his obvious talents and winning over everyone at Clarington Park with his friendly personality.
“He was committed to the club and was a fantastic person who will be sadly missed by everyone here,” said first team coach Richard Owen.
“We were really proud to call him a St Pat’s player. Everyone loved him, he was just a wonderful bloke.
“As a player he could play all across the backs but his best positions were perhaps on the wing or at full-back but he would play wherever he was asked – that was the measure of the bloke.
“Anthony was playing in our second team this year and will be missed by his coach John Ellis and the whole of the team.”
Tributes to the father-of-one also poured in to the Wigan Today website and Facebook page from relatives, friends and even people who did not know him.
Vanessa Ryding posted: “It’s not right seeing this he shouldn’t be gone I keep hoping its a dream miss you.”
Siobhan Wilson added: “RIP, gone but not forgotten. Nan will look after you.”
Julie Kocot wrote: “Anthony, so sad gone too soon. Thoughts with all your family and friends.”
A user called Great Gig In The Sky posted on Wigantoday.net adding: “Sounds like old news when somebody passes away but what a genuine fellow!
“Always smiling and had groups of people round his little finger, an absolute character and born to be smiling.”
As well as rugby league, Anthony had a passion and talent for photography, something he demonstrated by setting up his own photography business. He also spent time working in the sales department here at the Evening Post. Anthony was found at his Rylands Street home last Thursday. Police say his death is not suspicious and the file has been passed to the coroner.