RADCLIFFE Football Club has been left devastated by the tragic death of its dedicated photographer after staff and volunteers were involved in a crash on their way home from a match.

Seven members of the club's football family were travelling home following the game against Ashton Athletic when they were involved in a three-vehicle collision on the M60.

Father-of-two Peter Lee died as a result of the crash, and other passengers in the people carrier were left injured.

Mr Lee, aged 60 from Radcliffe, joined Radcliffe FC as the club photographer about two years ago and quickly immersed himself in the life of the team.

Radcliffe FC paid tribute to Mr Lee.

Club chairman Paul Hilton said: “Peter was a big part of our football family. He was a wonderful man, always smiling and a great photographer. He was a true gent.

“He joined us about two years ago as our club photographer and he became immersed in the club immediately. He and his two daughters went everywhere with us.

“Everyone at the club will miss him greatly. We will support his family in every way possible going forward.”

The club also wished the other members of its football family, who were involved in the incident, a speedy recovery.

Emergency services were called to the clockwise carriageway near Junction 16 at Clifton Interchange shortly before 10.30pm.

Two passengers had to be cut out of the vehicles after the collision which involved a white Ford Transit, a silver Toyota Avensis people carrier and a black BMW 1 series.

A 20-year-old woman and a 39-year-old man were taken to hospital with serious injuries, one of whom suffered head injuries.

A 12-year-old girl was taken to hospital but she has since been discharged.

A 48-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He remains in custody for questioning.

Greater Manchester Police have appealed for anyone who witnessed the crash to contact them.

Police Const Neil Pennington, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: "This was a tragic incident in which a man has sadly lost his life and two other people have suffered serious injuries, and my thoughts are with their families at this difficult time.

"Our enquiries into the exact circumstances of this collision remain ongoing and I would urge anyone who saw what happened to get in touch with police.

"We are particularly keen to hear from anyone with dashcam footage of the incident as this could be vital to our investigation.”

The motorway was shut for more than five hours between Junctions 15 and 17. The M61 south and A580/East Lancashire Road were also closed to avoid more traffic joining the motorway.

The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) sent three Hazardous Area Response Teams (HART) vehicles to the scene, two advance paramedics, three ambulances and an operational commander.

A spokeswoman for the NWAS said: "There were a number of patients involved. Six people were wounded and we assessed them on the scene.

"Two patients were taken to hospital, one of whom suffered head injuries."

Fire crews from Farnworth and Whitefield were also called to the scene.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said: "We were called shortly before 10.30pm on Tuesday to a collision on the M60 clockwise at Junction 16.

"Fire engines attended from Whitefield, Agecroft, Broughton and Farnworth. We also sent a tactical response unit from Leigh.

"We assisted the North West Ambulance Service with the patients."

Anyone with information should call Greater Manchester Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 0161 856 4741 quoting reference number 2229 of December 4, 2018.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.