TRIBUTES from across the country have been paid to a ‘cricket ambassador’ who has died from bladder cancer.

Family have been overwhelmed by the number of messages on social media after the death of Dave Tattersall was announced.

His brother Ian has led the emotional tributes to the 62-year-old, from Egerton, who worked in the sales department at the Bolton Evening News in the 1980s.

He said: “He was a pleasure to have as a brother and would not have a bad word said about anyone.

“He was diagnosed with bone cancer in the middle of summer and I used to go with him to The Christie hospital.

“He said to me ‘I have had a fantastic life and I was so lucky to have lived it’.

“His passion was Bolton Wanderers and cricket and in the 1970s we used to go down the Rigbys at Bradshaw and play football. He used to pretend he was John Byrom.

“We want to thank everybody for their messages of sympathy and it has been overwhelming the tributes we have had.”

The ex-Turton School student was well-known in local cricket circles, with a playing career spanning Bradshaw, Kearsley, Tonge, Horwich and Golborne.

For the past 10 years Dave had served as manager at Egerton CC. Club secretary Mike Hall said: “It has been a huge shock. He was a lovely fella and could not do enough for people.

“He was always willing to talk cricket and get involved in cricket clubs and he always had time for people. He was a true gentleman.

“Dave had been involved with Egerton for 10 years but that did not mean he was divorced from other clubs and was a key part of the Bolton cricket community. He was always available for people to help them with any difficulties they had. He really helped players improve.”

Dave played a key role in the success of his local teams, Mike added.

“In the season up to 2015 he put together a team that won the Bolton League Championship, then Egerton moved to the Greater Manchester League and won the Premier League Championship. Then the following season they won the Derek Kay Cup and that was great for ‘Tatt’.

“It is not just what he did for those teams but for the clubs. He was always available to help clean the clubhouse, put the covers on etc.

“He touched everybody and loved the game and you can see that from how much of his time he gave to the clubs.

“He was the Bolton Inter-League manager and also in the Greater Manchester League and it shows how much people thought of the man.

“He used to call everyone ‘top man’ but he was a ‘top man’.”

Dave began his first XI career at Bradshaw in 1994, aged 15, and ended it there in 2004, playing a couple of matches as team manager. He took 635 wickets in the Bolton League, for Bradshaw, Tonge, Horwich and Kearsley.

He moved to Tonge in 1977 where he changed from medium pace to off-spin, like his dad Frank and uncle Roy, who played for Lancashire and England. In 1979 he took 23 wickets as Tonge ended the season runners-up.

Dave took 50 wickets on six occasions, his best haul being 66 in a season.

In the 2000s Dave managed the Bolton League inter-league team, who won the Axford Trophy, versus the Bolton Association, an unprecedented five times in seven seasons, as well as being a successful team manager at Tonge and Egerton.

Dave was born next door to future Bolton League Secretary Ray Taylor in Rainford Street, Bradshaw, in 1959 and the two remained lifelong friends.

He said: “Everyone who knew Tatt got on with him. Despite being a very competitive sportsman, he was also very likeable.”

A spokesman for Tonge CC said: “Dave was a great ambassador for Tonge and was great company over a pint and had a vast knowledge of local cricket and people beyond.”

He leaves a wife Debra, son Chris and step-children Ben and Carl.