‘Our cheeky chappy’: Family tribute to tragic teenager James (17)

The heartbroken family of a teenager who drowned in a Foulridge reservoir have paid tribute to a “cheeky chappy and a charmer, who had a wicked sense of humour and a love for life”.

Former Colne Park High School student James Goodship (17) died after getting into difficulty in water at Lake Burwain on Sunday night.

The plumbing student at Burnley College had launched a raft onto the water with six friends, sparking an extensive overnight search. His body was recovered on Monday morning.

Now his mum Melanie (40), dad Pete (45), siblings Lauren (19) and Thomas (7), and extended family have shared their memories of the Liverpool FC fan, whose infectious personality left a lasting impression on everyone he met.

Civil servant Melanie said: “I will never forget him. He was just perfect - my loveable, cheeky mummy’s boy.

“He was full of life, and just wanted to live life to the full. He was never one for staying in with the computer, he just wanted to be out.

“He was close to his family and you would always get a kiss and a ‘I love you’ before he went to bed, or when he was going out. He was so loveable and generous.”

James, a member of Colne Snooker Club, was passionate about outdoor activities, including football, fishing, camping, rugby, canoeing, biking, and golf.

He also enjoyed DJ-ing, swimming, snooker and socialising.

The former Lord Street Primary School pupil had just got a father-son season ticket for Burnley FC, and was also looking forward to attending the Beat-Herder Festival next month.

Facility supervisor Pete said: “He wasn’t just my son, he was my best mate. He would do anything for anybody and he had a heart of gold.”

And James’ nana Sylvia Goodship added: “He was a hands-on sort of person and he was just a lovely lad.”

As the incident unfolded, Melanie was walking her dogs at the reservoir with her partner Emlyn.

She stopped to witness the devastating scene for around 20 minutes, unaware that it was her son emergency services were desperately trying to rescue.

Only when two of her son’s friends came running to her did she begin to realise the heartbreaking reality.

James’ family would like to thank everybody for their kind words and messages, as well as the couple who took them into their home following the tragedy and the many people who have left tributes and memories of James at the reservoir.

Melanie said: “It was very heartwarming to see just how much people appreciated him in their lives. He did leave a mark on everybody who knew him.”

And writing on Facebook Lauren wrote: “R.I.P to the bravest person I know, my brother James Goodship. I love you so much James and I know you love me too even though you would never admit it. We fought like cat and dog, we shared secrets and so many good memories, but that’s what siblings do. Don’t worry about us we have so much support - we all went to place some flowers and I couldn’t believe how many people were there and how many people have placed flowers.

“You’re not on your own up there, god gave our little soldier wings, and you’re now a beautiful angel.”

James’ funeral will be held at St Bartholomew’s Church at 2pm and Colne Cemetery at 3pm on Thursday.

Anyone wanting to follow James’ hearse to the church is asked to meet at 1-30pm in Duke Street.

There is no dress code, although family have asked that those attending wear pink socks.