Tributes have been paid to a mechanical engineer from Accrington who said he would have remained at his home in the town even if he had won the lottery.
John Holden, of Hodder Street, passed away on Friday, September 5 after a battle with cancer at the age of 55.
In his younger days John played pool for the Adelphi public house on Avenue Parade, with a group of friends who were known locally as the ‘Adelphi Boys’
He also played for the Peel Park pub on Turkey Street, and became a familiar face on the town’s pool circuit.
John was largely self-employed and his work took him all over the country, repairing and maintaining machinery such as looms and industrial ovens.
He worked everywhere from St Helens to London, and he also worked at Lupton Brothers and Express Gifts in Accrington.
John’s wife Lesley said: “He loved his work. He was always involved in engineering, he worked in different aspects of the job, but it was always engineering.”
Away from mechanical work, John was also the secretary at Boden Street Working Men’s Club for several years. A big music fan, John had a ‘massive’ record collection, which included releases by his favourite artists such as Pink Floyd and ZZ Top.
He was also very interested in country music and even took an interest in classical composers.
His love of music led to him taking up the guitar as a hobby.
Occasionally he would invite his window cleaner, who had played in a band, in to help find the right chords for a song.
Lesley, said: “He was one of those people who had a way with everyone. Everyone felt like they knew him.
“Even when he was very ill and couldn’t talk, he had given the nurse a pen so he could talk to her.
“He told you what he thought, he wasn’t afraid to speak his mind, but he was a very kind person.
“If he could think of something he could do to help people he would, he had that kindness about him.”
As a child, John attended St Anne’s Junior School and then moved on to Holy Family RC Secondary School.
He remained friends with school mates James Ashworth and Anthony Mabbutt throughout his adult life.
In recent years he would enjoy meeting with his old friends for a ‘pint or two’ in Grants Bar on Manchester Road on Sunday afternoons. They also frequented the Peel Park and Queen’s Hotels.
John leaves wife Lesley, sister Kath, twin brother Mark and mother-in-law Dorene.
He was also a much loved brother-in-law, uncle and great uncle.
Lesley said: “He loved all his family. He was a very special person who will be very sadly missed.”