Tributes have been paid to a former police inspector who died suddenly in hospital, aged 61.
Alan Sumner, of Lord Street, Rishton, was being treated in hospital for a foot infection but his condition quickly deteriorated and he passed away on Tuesday, February 17.
His wife of 12 years Debra said his death came as a ‘shock’ and they still don’t know the cause of death. She said: “He was doing fine in hospital and I spoke to him and texted him the day before.
“We don’t really know what happened after that as it has come back inconclusive. We are waiting for a cause of death.”
The grandfather-of-two fulfilled his childhood ambition of becoming a police officer and became the youngest ever sergeant in Liverpool – then part of the same force as Lancashire - at the age of 22.
He later served as an inspector covering East Lancashire specialising in firearms and public order and also worked for some time with his brother Shaun who was chief inspector.
Alan, who was a member at Rishton Conservative Club and Rishton Working Men’s Club, received several commendations, including a medal after acting as a peacekeeper in the run up to the 1980 elections in Rhodesia. He retired from the police aged 47 due to injury and later enjoyed working as an ‘extra’ on popular television soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale.
He also enjoyed visiting his apartment in Spain as well as touring across Europe with Shaun and their friends on his beloved motorbike.
Debra, 49, said: “I just loved him so much. He loved his children and that is what I loved about him.
“He really enjoyed working in the police and enjoyed going out to Spain where we had a lot of friends. Quite a few of them will be coming over for the funeral.
“Alan loved socialising and he was a genuine people person who had great communication skills and the gift to be able to understand people from all walks of life.
“He liked people and everyone liked him. He was a lovely man.”
See page 26 for full obituary