TRIBUTES have been paid to a Radcliffe stalwart who “kept the carnival alive”.

Roy Vevers, vice president of the popular and long-running Radcliffe Carnival, has died.

Friends described him as a "cheerful, hard-working and dedicated" person.

Andrew Clarkson, carnival chairman, said: "We are all shocked and devastated that we have lost a dear friend and such a key member of the team.

"Roy was a real hard-worker and an invaluable member of the committee. He was a real character and always so cheerful. We are going to miss him dearly.

"We send our sincere and deepest sympathy to Sue and all his family and friends at this most difficult time."

Mr Vevers was married to wife Sue. The couple, who lived in Bolton Road, Radcliffe, met when they were teenagers.

He was described as a "real family man", and very close to his children and grandchildren.

Friend of the family Jackie Taylor said: "Roy was a really lovely guy. He was a jolly, smiling, family man. He absolutely adored his wife Sue and his three children. He had about nine grandchildren too. He loved his family.

"He lived for the carnival, like his father before him - his father was known as Mr Carnival. Roy loved anything to do with people and the community."

Mr Vevers took up the carnival mantle after his father, Ray, who was one of the original organisers of the event some 53 years ago.

The committee appointed Mr Vevers as vice-president about five years ago and he was responsible for all of the event's attractions on Red Bank Field.

He was employed as a truck driver at Bolton-based Thomas Hardy & Son.

Cllr Rhyse Cathcart said: "I am deeply saddened by the loss of this genuinely great man who I was privileged to call a friend.

“There will be many people in the community shocked and upset to hear this news.

“I will miss his cheeky smile and his passion for our town. Roy kept the carnival alive as part of a legacy to his father. He will be greatly missed.”

Mr Vevers, believed to be in his early 60s, died suddenly at his home on Sunday, February 10.