A MAN who was found with serious head injuries in Accrington town centre has died in hospital.
Allan Clynch, 56, of Portland Street, Accrington, was found lying in Warner Street at 5.30pm on Sunday and was rushed to Blackburn Royal Infirmary for treatment.
He was later transferred to the Royal Preston Hospital for neurological surgery before being moved to an intensive care unit in his hometown of Liverpool. But he died on Tuesday night with his family at his side.
Police said they were continuing to investigate the circumstances of Mr Clynch's death. Eyewitnesses had reported seeing a man matching his description riding a horse in the town centre earlier that afternoon.
A horse was later found wandering around nearby Abbey Street with its saddle askew and police believe Mr Clynch was injured after falling off the horse, although it is not yet clear what caused the fall.
Detective Sergeant Paul Murphy, of Accrington CID, said: "The police are still investigating but at this stage it is believed to be a tragic accident."
Mr Clynch, who had been banned from keeping horses in 2002 after a cruelty case brought by the RSPCA, is believed to have borrowed the animal from a friend.
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said the ban did not prevent Mr Clynch from riding a horse, providing he was not the sole person responsible for its care, and it was unlikely he was doing anything wrong.
Mr Clynch, who moved to Hyndburn more than 20 years ago, leaves family including his mum Vi Clarkson and sisters Irene Wibberley and Gwen Hogg, who all live in Liverpool.
In a statement released by his devastated family, they said: "We would like to thank all of Allan's friends in the Accrington and Blackburn area, especially his friend Cheryl, for adopting a scouser as one of their own.
"We know the years he spent living there, especially while he was married to the love of his life, Christine, were the happiest of his life.
"We know he was a colourful character and they definitely broke the mould after he was made, but we loved him dearly and he will be very sadly missed."
They also thanked everyone who helped Mr Clynch after the incident, including the passers-by who raised the alarm, police, paramedics and hospital staff, and said his funeral was likely to be held next Thursday.
The coroner has been informed of the death and an inquest is expected to be opened shortly. Anyone who witnessed the incident should contact Accrington CID on 353741.