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.
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.
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.
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