TRIBUTES have been paid to a young Wigan man who died in a car crash yards from his home.
Daniel Birch, 23, was driving a Ford Focus when it hit a stone gate entrance on Wigan Road, Standish, at around 3.45am on Sunday.
The former Winstanley College student was taken by ambulance to Wigan Infirmary but died a short time later.
Daniel’s family today paid an emotional tribute to him, describing him as ‘everyone’s best mate’.
In a statement, they said: “Our most darling treasured son, brother, grandson and everyone’s best mate he would do anything for anyone.
“He lived his life for every moment. He leaves a hole that can never be filled he will be deeply missed forever in our hearts and never ever forgotten.”
Winstanley College principal Jo Bailey also paid tribute to Daniel, describing the way he showcased his sporting talent during his time there between 2005 and 2007.
She said: “We were very sorry to learn of Dan’s tragic accident. He is remembered with affection at Winstanley as a quiet but enthusiastic student, who excelled at sport. Our thoughts are with Dan’s family at this very sad time.”
Daniel, who worked at Madisons bar in King Street in Wigan town centre, was a big Liverpool FC fan, who also played football and had scored a goal for Croston Sports Club earlier that day. The centre back helped the reserve team to a 4-1 victory against Gillibrand Saints.
Craig Howard, football secretary of Croston Sports Club, said: “This is heart-breaking news, and everyone at Croston Sports Club would like to pay tribute to Danny. He will be sorely missed.
“Arrangements will now be made with both the West Lancashire League and the Chorley Alliance League, so that a minute’s silence will be held before both the first team and reserve teams’ games this coming Saturday.”
Among the floral tributes at the scene, friends and family have left messages describing their heartbreak.
One, from Daniel’s little brother, simply says: “Thank you for being the best big brother in the world.”
Police have appealed for witnesses following the crash.
Sgt John Wharton, from the road policing unit, said: “I would appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time and who may have witnessed something to come forward and contact the police.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Lancashire Police on 101.
People with information can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org.