A legendary fell runner has been found dead in a bog.
Bill Smith, 75, a member of Clayton-le-Moors Harriers, had been walking across Saddle Fell near Chipping in the Trough of Bowland when he fell and became trapped in a peat bog.
Police believe he may have lay undiscovered for three weeks.
His body was found by a walker which sparked a major rescue operation on Sunday, October 2.
Peter Booth, chairman of Clayton-le-Moors Harriers, paid tribute to Bill, who’d been a harrier for almost 40 years.
He said: "Bill was a remarkable chap - a marvellous man who did so much for fell running. He was a true gentleman, quiet and unassuming and will be greatly missed by all.
"His book on the sport ‘Studmarks on the Summits - A History of Amateur Fell Racing 1861-1983’ - was published in 1986 and has been sold for more than £100 on ebay."
He added: "It’s a tragic end. Obviously something has gone wrong when he was out on Saddle Fell. I was expecting Bill to marshal at Thieveley Pike on September 24, but he never arrived. We now know why."
Police were contacted at around 5.20pm on Sunday, October 2, after a walker discovered a body in the peat bog.
Due to the remote location, a search and rescue operation was launched involving a police helicopter and Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team.
At the Harriers’ AGM on August 25 Bill, who lived alone in Everton, Liverpool, was elected as an Honorary Member in recognition of his outstanding service to the club and to the sport of fell running.
This is the second tragedy to strike Clayton Harriers.
In April 1994, Judith Taylor died when a freak blizzard hit the Kentmere Fell Race.