Tributes to veterans' group leader and community stalwart

A local MP and former servicemen have led the tributes following the death of Alan Lewis MBE.

Monday, 6th April 2020, 3:17 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th April 2020, 11:44 am
Alan Lewis MBE

Mr Lewis chaired the Skelmersdale Veterans' Association and developed a partnership with Wigan Athletic to provide football sessions for former military personnel.

That was just one of a number of ways in which he supported groups including veterans and young people in Skelmersdale and the surrounding areas.

His dedication to the community was recognised by Buckingham Palace in 2015.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper and the veterans' association Mr Lewis chaired all paid tribute to him following his death.

Ms Cooper said: “I first want to express my heartfelt condolences to Alan’s family and friends my thoughts and prayers are with them.

“Alan was an active community volunteer for many years supporting everyone young and old.

"Only last year I was invited along to the launch event of ‘Football 4 Forces’, an initiative Alan, a veteran himself, worked hard on alongside partners including Wigan Athletic to provide social and walking football opportunities to ex servicemen and women. This was just another example of Alan working hard to support the people of Skelmersdale and West Lancashire.

“Indeed his work has been recognised over the years, having been awarded the Unsung Hero Award by the Community Foundation for Lancashire and he received an MBE in 2015 for Services to the Community and Young People.

“He will be sorely missed, particularly by his family and friends but across the town and borough for all his hard work and dedication."

Alan Moore from Skelmersdale Veterans' Association said: "He looked after the veterans and was always there for them. His death has come as a shock to us all and he will be very sadly missed.

"He worked with Wigan Athletic Community Trust to organise walking football for the veterans.

"We went up to Wigan a couple of times to play and Wigan used to come to Skelmersdale to hold sessions for us every week. Alan organised all that.

"He was a very good organiser. He also used to put on a dinner to commemorate the two world wars every year."

Mr Moore also spoke of Mr Lewis' work running a youth club and involvement with the annual Poppy Appeal.

In her tribute Ms Cooper also mentioned his work with Action for Youth, his support for Armed Forces Day and his attendance at events including conferences to tackle anti-social behaviour.

A message on Skelmersdale Veterans' Association's website announced Mr Lewis' death on Friday April 3 and included words of condolence for his family.

The cause of Mr Lewis' death is currently not known.

A message from the Editorial Director, Gillian Parkinson:

Thank you for reading this story on our website.

But I also have an urgent plea to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality local news on this free-to-read site and in print, please purchase a copy of our newspaper as well.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on our town centres and many of our valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you buying a copy when you pop out for your essential shop or subscribing for delivery.

Our journalists are highly trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards anywhere in the world. Our content is universally trusted - as all independent research proves.

As Baroness Barran said in a House of Lords debate this week on the importance of journalists: "Not only are they a trusted source of facts, but they will have a role to play in rallying communities and getting the message across about how we can keep ourselves and our families safe, and protect our NHS. Undoubtedly, they have a critical role."

But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis. In return we will continue to forensically cover the local news - not only the impact of the virus but all the positive and uplifting news happening in these dark days.

We thank all our readers and advertisers for their understanding and support - and we wish YOU all the best in the coming weeks. Keep safe, and follow the Government advice. Thank you.

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE:

You can subscribe for delivery by contacting us at [email protected] or calling us on 0330 4033004 for details of a participating newsagent near you.