'He was the most fantastic man' - Former South Ribble Mayor Dave Watts has died aged 71

Coun Dave Watts, who died on Saturday aged 71
Coun Dave Watts, who died on Saturday aged 71
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A former mayor of South Ribble and councillor of more than 20 years has died.

South Ribble Coun Dave Watts died in the early hours of Saturday morning, aged 71.

Coun Dave Watts

Coun Dave Watts

The Labour councillor represented Bamber Bridge East since March 1998, as well as being borough mayor from 2006 to 2007.

South Ribble Coun Mick Higgins, who also represents Bamber Bridge East, paid tribute to the man he describes as "the most fantastic man and friend".

Coun Higgins said: "Dave was the most fantastic man and friend anyone could ever ask for.

"He was a right positive person and good friend to many.

"He was so down to earth. Many years ago I was suffering with depression and he was the first to come and help me get through it all.

"If I could live for the next 100 years I would never be the man that he was."

Dave leaves behind wife Chris, with the two of them celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in August.

He also leaves behind his son Christopher and two grandsons.

A spokesman from the South Ribble Labour group said that "Dave was a stalwart of the Labour movement".

Their full statement reads: "We are devastated to have to announce the sudden death of our friend and comrade Coun David Watts.

"Dave was a stalwart of the Labour movement and had been a councillor in Bamber Bridge for over 20 years.

"He was the Mayor of South Ribble in 2006.

"Our thoughts are with his wife Chris and his family at this difficult time. RIP Coun Watts."