Tributes paid to popular dad who died in charity run tragedy

Neil Rigby with his wife June on the way to the Colour Run on Sunday
Neil Rigby with his wife June on the way to the Colour Run on Sunday

Tributes have been paid to a “happy, loving family man” who tragically collapsed and died at a popular borough fundraiser.


Neil Rigby, 47, from Highfield, was one of hundreds taking part in the Wigan Warriors Community Foundation and Wigan and Leigh Hospice charity Colour Run at Pennington Flash when the tragedy struck.

At around 1.30pm, air ambulance paramedics arrived at the event and worked hard to resuscitate Mr Rigby, but he sadly died at the scene.

In an emotional statement to the Wigan Observer, his daughter Stacey has paid tribute to her beloved dad.

“My dad was the heart of our family and our whole world has been turned upside down and will never be the same,” she said. “We are truly broken and we will miss him so much.

“He was a happy, loving family man who adored his six grandchildren. The family would like to say thank you to everybody who helped from the bottom of our hearts.”

Neil’s family remember him as a fun-loving United fan, who had a penchant for playing Candy Crush and trying to get others to join him by sending them notifications on social media.

Stacey added: “He was just so loving, always put his family first and adored his grandchildren.

“He was funny and always had us in stitches, but all we have now is an empty chair where he was always sat.

“He was so very loved by us all and always will be.”

Both Wigan and Leigh Hospice and the Warriors Community Foundation have sent their condolences to the family, as well as hundreds of other participants who have come forward on social media to provide the family with words of support.