Family of ex-footballer James Dean pay heartbreaking tribute to 'genuine and gentle' father after tragic death

The family of tragic footballer James Dean has paid tribute to a 'genuine and gentle' father who would go out of his way for anybody.
James DeanJames Dean
James Dean

Police have now confirmed that a body found yesterday was that of 35-year-old James, who had been missing from the Oswaldtwistle area since Wednesday.

James was a familiar face across the county having played football for a number of Lancashire sides including Padiham, Clitheroe, Chorley and Fylde.

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In a tribute his family said: “As a family we are utterly heartbroken and we can’t believe our James has really gone. We are still hoping he will walk back through the door and give us one of his smiles.

“James was a loving father to his boys, a son, grandson, nephew and a brother and he will be desperately missed by so many.

“He was such a genuine and gentle person who would go out of his way to help anyone who needed it

“We would like to thank everyone in the community who has helped in the search for James over the last few days and everyone at Brave Church for their love and support.

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“We would also ask that people please don’t speculate about what happened to James as it’s not fair for us as a family – especially his boys – to read these things. The truth will come out in good time.

“While we are touched by all the lovely things people have said about James we would ask that we are now left in peace to try and come to terms with what has happened.”

Following extensive police enquiries a body was found in the Moscow Mill Street area around 2-25pm yesterday.

A police spokesman said: "The body has now been formally identified. Our thoughts are with James’ family and friends at this time.

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"The death is not being treated as suspicious and a post-mortem examination will take place in due course. A file will be prepared for HM Coroner and the matter will proceed to inquest.

"We would like to thank everyone from the community who assisted during the search for James."

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