The close friends of a popular Accrington barman and passionate football fan are raising money to help pay for his funeral service.
Manchester City supporter Richard Martin, known locally as ‘Skinner’, worked for many years behind the bar of the Duke of Wellington pub in Accrington.
He died on Tuesday, July 4, aged 55.
Police confirmed that Richard was discovered at home on Edgar Street in Accrington. They are not treating his death as suspicious. A coroner’s inquest has yet to be opened.
He has no surviving family, so his close friends, led by Wendy Higham, have set up a fundraising page in his name and are aiming to raise £2,000.
Wendy, 41, from Accrington, said: “He had a troubled start in life, in and out of the care system. He became addicted to heroin in his early 20s and the lifestyle that came with it, but he had completely turned his life around. He’s been clean for 11 years.
“He was kind, generous and would help anyone in need - he also gave a inspirational talk on his life story in 2011 in front of 2,000 people in the Guildhall in Preston.”
She added: “It was a sudden death but, as yet, we have no cause of death.”
Richard’s friends say that by raising these funds, they can give him the funeral he deserves.
Richard was a devoted Manchester City fan, and set up the ‘City Till We Die’ Facebook group with more than 3,000 members, who have been paying tribute after learning of his passing. City have donated a flag to be draped over Richard’s coffin and will be holding a raffle in aid of the fund. He was also an accomplished walker, completing the three peaks challenge for the Price of Wales Trust.
Richard’s funeral is set to be held on Monday, July 17 at 9.40am at Accrington Crematorium, on Burnley Road.
Donations can be made directly to Barton and Hallworth Funeral Services, Oswaldtwistle on their website or by calling them on 01254 390542.