A childhood friend has paid tribute to a “bubbly family man" who was “always smiling” after he tragically died in a car accident.

Paul Orange – from Smithills, who has lived in different places across Bolton – was just 37 when he died in a car accident in Middlewich on Thursday January 18.

Police were called to reports, as well as emergency services following a collision on the A54 Middlewich Road, close to the junction with Birch Lane.

The incident involved a White Ford Focus and two HGVs.

Scott Wilde grew up with Paul in Smithills and had been friends with him for 22 years after meeting each other at 15 through mutual friends.

He said: “It doesn’t feel real.

“We were childhood friends.

“We lived in the same area but didn’t come across each other until we were 15.

“He was very bubbly, and he was always smiling and an all-round decent guy.

“I will miss everything about him.

The Bolton News: Bottom left to right: Paul with his mum Cath, his brother Chris(at the far back), and his step dad IanBottom left to right: Paul with his mum Cath, his brother Chris(at the far back), and his step dad Ian (Image: Public)“He was there as a friend all the time.

“It’s not going to hit me for a while.”

The Canon Slade pupil leaves his “beautiful” daughter behind Iylah who is just 10 years old, Haliey Bleakley who he co-parented “brilliantly” with, and his partner Julia Hopley.

Scott added: “She’s got a lot of support.

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“And it’s impacting her as any impact of losing a father would.

“He was very close with his family, especially his brother Christopher who he did everything together with.”

Paul was an upholster for almost 20 years, which he was skilled at.

The Bolton News: Paul Orange with his daughter IylahPaul Orange with his daughter Iylah (Image: Public)In his spare time, he would play golf and snooker, with Scott, and he loved football.

Scott said: “He wasn’t the type of guy to risk his life.

“He was a family man, and he was still at a really young age.”

Scott has since set up a GoFundMe for the family to help towards funeral costs, and as part of a collection for Iylah.

Scott and a large group of friends will be taking on a hike to Scafell Pike on Sunday February 4.

The GoFundMe has already reached more than £6,250 so far.

Scott said: “His family are more than capable of taking care of the aftermath, I just wanted us to try and do our bit for his daughter.”

Click here (www.gofundme.com/f/lets-give-orange-the-send-off-that-he-deserves) to support the family.

If you have a story and something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at jasmine.jackson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on Twitter @JournoJasmine.