Tributes for former owner of iconic Burnley nightspot
Dave France was the joint owner of the former Hop nightspot. Before that he also worked as assistant manager at the former Cat's Whiskers nightspot in the club's halcycon days of the 1980s.
Arriving for work in a strange town and with nowhere to live, Dave soon settled into his new job and won people over with his enthusiasm for the job.
Former Cat's Whiskers DJ Steve Hindley, who was to become lifelong friends with Dave, said: "It must have been very daunting for him to arrive somewhere new and just be expected to get on with it.
"But Dave was happy to do it and he just seemed to fit in straight away."
Dave became the right hand man to nightclub boss Mike Connolly, the man who was credited with reviving the flagging fortunes of the 'Cat's' and transforming it into a clubbing mecca to put the town's nightlife on the map.
Mike, who died two years ago at the age of 70, transformed the Cat's Whiskers into a hotspot for both Coronation Street stars and Manchester United footballers and even attracted international celebrities like Miss World, with party-goers queuing up to get in as soon as the doors opened at 7pm.
But at the time of Dave's arrival the sister club, Annabella's, which was a smaller venue attached to the Cat's, was not enjoying the same success. So Mike tasked Dave with turning it around and he rose to the challenge with aplomb, hosting a series of theme nights that had clubbers queueing around the block.
Steve said: "One of the nights was called In For A Penny In For A Pound and Dave introduced two five foot high dice that customers could spin to land on the name of a drink and the price you would pay for it which was always a bargain."
Dave also organised theme nights based on different countries but he found himself in trouble after the Greek night when he allowed people to smash crockery on the dancefloor!
Steve said: "Dave was a very talented guy and he had some great ideas.
"Some of them were fantastic and really successful, he knew the nightclub scene well and what could be done to draw people in. His energy and enthusiasm was great."
When Mike left the Cat's Whiskers after he purchased The Groves Hotel in Nelson Dave went with him and suggested the idea for opening a nightclub next to the hotel.
Hawthornes nightclub became another success story for the duo with its slogan 'for the nicer people' and Dave worked there as a DJ with his friend Steve.
After that Dave and a business partner bought the Hop. Re-naming the Trafalgar Street venue Kitty O'Shea's the venue never really enjoyed the same success as Dave's former business ventures. After that he took a step back from the nightclub scene and lived quietly at his home in Nelson.
Dave, who was 60, had battled ill health for several years. He died in a care home in Blackpool.
Steve said: "Dave was an instantly recognisable figure with his long hair.
"He always used to wear a smart jacket but underneath he would have a t shirt on with his chest hair sticking out!
"He was full of enthusiasm and ideas that were always a success, he loved what he did and threw himself into everything 100 per cent."