Tributes have been paid to a former Accrington Stanley player and town centre businessman who has died aged 84.
Thomas Henderson played for the Reds as a left winger in its previous incarnation during the 1950s and 1960s and was a member of the final team before they lost professional status.
The great-grandfather later ran The Pan Factory on Gillies Street in Accrington until his retirement and was a regular at the Sydney Street Club.
Thomas, of Avenue Parade in Accrington, also played for Norwich City and Airdrie in Scotland before joining Stanley and later played for local amateur teams including Immanuel and Great Harwood.
He passed away on Wednesday, January 17, aged 84.
Son Ian, who runs the Ian Henderson Hair Studio on Avenue Parade, said he was well known in the borough and will be ‘sadly missed’.
He said: “He loved playing for Stanley. Stanley was his team.
“When he was 16 he signed for Norwich and was on their books for a few years before going back to Airdrie.
“He came down in 1953 with all the Scottish players to play for Stanley. He played for them until it all finished and then went to Immanuel and Great Harwood amateur teams.
“When he was down here he met my mum and decided to stay.”
Thomas worked for a company in Ashton-under-Lyne before setting up The Pan Factory in Accrington and employed several staff.
Ian, who lives in Accrington, said: “I think everybody in Accrington has got one of my dad’s pans.
“Everybody knew my dad from either his football days or the factory.
“He was an absolute gentleman and a really nice guy until he got on the football pitch and you tried to get the ball off him. He was quite a competitor.
“A lot of people have been ringing up about my dad. We’ve had a lot of calls.”
Husband to the late Valerie, Thomas leaves son Ian and daughter Tracey, grandchildren Christian, Callum and Gemma, great-granddaughter Summer, brothers John and the late William, sisters May, Betty, Margaret, Cathleen and Rose.
He was also a much loved brother-in-law and uncle.