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Tributes to popular runner after tragic fall down stairs

Howard Ashworth, from Oswaldtwistle, died at hospital aged 49

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Howard Ashworth from Oswaldtwistle.

Tributes have been paid to a popular walker and runner who tragically died of a serious brain injury after falling down the stairs at his home.

Howard Ashworth accidentally fell at his house on Thwaites Road in Oswaldtwistle in the early hours on Monday, August 27, and was rushed to Royal Blackburn Hospital.

The 49-year-old damaged his lungs and suffered a cardiac arrest which caused a lack of oxygen to his brain.

The former Rhyddings pupil was placed into an induced coma but sadly never regained consciousness.

He died on Saturday, September 1, surrounded by his family after his ventilator was turned off.

Howard’s sister, Maxine Ashworth, said: “It was a big shock to our family and it’s still a shock.

“We knew it was serious early on.

“A lot of people have been contacting us since it happened, which is really nice.

“We didn’t realise how many different clubs he was a member of. He was a very outdoors person and loved his real ales.

“He was always smiling and never had a bad word to say about anyone.

“He lived his life to the full.”

Howard worked at Caligen Foam in Accrington and was also a steward at Blackburn Rovers FC.

He played an active role in various walking and running groups across East Lancashire, including the Ossy Joggers, Baxenden Bugs, Team MGPT Run Group in Oswaldtwistle, the North East Lancashire Coach Ramblers, A Pint of Guest, and was a walks leader at the Spring Vale Rambling Class in Darwen.

Barbara Sharples, of the Great Harwood Prospects Panel, said Howard played a ‘key role’ in developing a series of seasonal walks and helping new walkers.

She said: “He was a character, he was comical and made walks entertaining.

“He went on the North East Lancashire monthly local rambles and he was also a very keen photographer.

“We had a coach ramble to Ripon on Sunday and he was missed. We all assembled at the end to share memories and pay our respects.”

Dave Render, of the Baxenden Bugs, said it was a ‘tragic loss’.

He said: “He was a big part of the community.

“He has been involved with various running groups and was always helping and encouraging people.”

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Son of Peggy and the late James Ashworth, Howard leaves his sister, Maxine Ashworth, nieces Michelle McDonald and Tegan McShane, and nephew Cain Ashworth.

The funeral arrangements have yet to be confirmed.