A FATHER who tragically died in a car crash over the weekend has been named locally as Tom Benson.

The 36-year-old was a well known publican in Horwich, having run the White Tiger Bar and the Crux Emporium in Lee Lane, and most recently cocktails firm Apotek Class.

Just after 10pm on Saturday, a car crashed into a tree in Lever Park Avenue. Tom, a passenger in the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene, while a three-year-old, an eight-year-old and a 31-year-old woman were all taken to hospital.

Leave your tributes to Tom in a book of condolences herehttps://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/19706648.tom-benson-pay-tributes-much-loved-horwich-publican/

Tributes, including flowers and cards, have been left at the scene for Tom.

One said: “To our family member Tom. Tragically taken in an horrific accident may you rest in peace Tom. See you again soon.”

A cousin posted on Facebook saying: “Our family are devastated it’s such a massive shock. I haven’t stopped crying all day. He was such a lovely man a fantastic dad and he will be greatly missed by all, sleep tight Tom.”

The Bolton News: Tom Benson at Crux Emporium in HorwichTom Benson at Crux Emporium in Horwich

A friend posted saying: “In complete shock. Thank-you for all the great nights at White Tiger and the horrible green death hangovers the next day. Great memories that I’ll remember forever.”

Another posted about great memories from the White Tiger Bar: "You was the best boss, an amazing friend and all round caring guy.

“You made every shift working with you memorable, to be honest I never knew what kind of building site I would be walking into (somehow your dad made everything come together in time for opening) or the next money making scheme that was round the corner, but coming along for the ride made use one amazing tiger fam.

“The world will be a much duller place without you, I’m sure we will all be raising a green death in your memory and regretting the hang overs in the morning. Rest easy Benners.”

Tom had a good relationship with punters in Horwich, and beyond.

In 2017 Tom opened the ‘Horcrux Emporium’ in Lee Lane, a Harry Potter-inspired bar which gained international attention.

The Bolton News: Tom Benson at Crux Emporium in HorwichTom Benson at Crux Emporium in Horwich

In early 2018 Warner Brothers asked him to remove all references to the brand unless he applied for a licence from the company.

It was decided this would be too expensive so a new name, The Crux Emporium, was chosen through a Facebook poll by the end of the week.

Tom also had to remove associated decorations and change the names of five cocktails that make reference to the Harry Potter brand such as Dumbledore’s Password and Butter Beer.

The intervention by Warner Brothers and the resulting name change increased the bar’s social media engagement with interest from companies in New Zealand, Sweden and the United States.

Tom also helped save the Dog and Partridge live music venue in Manor Street in 2014 after a Land Rover ploughed into the building.

His White Tiger Bar hosted a night of music with bands to ensure the staff has work and the bands had a place to play while the Dog and Partridge was repaired.