TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular teacher who taught thousands of Bolton people to swim, who has died.

Lewis Sharrocks died on July 12 and was a life-long season ticket holder with Bolton Wanderers and was a member of the Lions of Vienna Suite.

There was a funeral service for the 63-year-old at the West Chapel at Bolton Crematorium yesterday and family members were amazed as more than 100 people paid their respects.

His mum Eileen Sharrocks said: “He was a very sociable and outgoing character in the local community as he was a swimming instructor around Bolton. He played football and was in the Lions of Vienna group.

“He loved Bolton Wanderers and supported them around the country. It was wonderful to see so many people at the service and shows what people thought about him. He had so many friends and they have been a great support to me after he died.”

Eddie Brookes is the steward at Farnworth and Kearsley Labour Club had happy memories of Lewis.

He said: “Back in the 1980s I used to play cards in the Black Horse with him and I have been told that he was a good footballer too.

“I was a DJ at the Labour club he would love to do the karaoke. He used to enjoy himself and his favourite artist was David Bowie. We were told he did not sing until he was 58 and never done it before but he had lots of confidence and could sign a lot of different numbers and also did punk and Sex Pistols but that must have been from when he was growing up.”

Friend Jim Rawson said: “Lewis was a great Kearsley guy. An all-round sports person especially football and cricket. As kids we used to call Channon after footballer Mick Channon because he celebrated his goal in the same way.

“He was also a swimming instructors at Farnworth Baths for many years he taught a lot of local kids how to swim.”

Nicola Girling an admin for the Bolton Wanderers Remembrance Group said: “The legacy of Lewis is that he has taught thousands of Boltonians. When we put it on our page so many people commented that he had taught them. Swimming is such a life-saving skill and he is still so well-thought of. He was a great character and everyone loved him.”

Nicola added some members of the BWFC Remembrance Group had visited Lewis’ mum to present her with a bunch of flowers and the group supported her.

She said: “We are Bolton Wanderers fans but we are also a family and like to look after each other. There are supporters groups but they don’t deal with bereavement of Bolton Wanderers fans.”

You can sign up to the Bolton Wanderers Remembrance Group by paying £10 for lifetime membership. Visit for more information.