Tributes have been paid to one of the leading lights of the Bolton amateur football scene.

Bob Shuttleworth, a familiar face on and off the football pitch, died on January 15, aged 86. 

Mr Shuttleworth played, coached, and managed grassroots football teams and was a committee member at clubs and leagues for around 50 years. 

Teams he managed included Breightmet United, Greenall United, and he was a committee member at the Bolton Sunday League, as well as having been a goalkeeper for Blackpool FC. 

His son, Gary Shuttleworth, said: "He must have come into contact with thousands of people, and we want to let them know sadly what has happened. 

The Bolton News: With his wife, Hilda, at the wedding of their son, Andy, in 2005With his wife, Hilda, at the wedding of their son, Andy, in 2005 (Image: Family)

"The passions in his life were family and football, he was a massive Manchester United supporter, me and my brother are United fans to this day. 

"He just loved the fact that football gave him another purpose, away from family. 

"He never turned anyone away, he loved it all.

"What he wanted to do was to make a difference to kids, if they got involved in football it gives them something to do, rather than doing other things in society." 

Bob grew up in Farnworth, but also lived in Great Lever and Westhoughton. 

He added: "It was only due to his health deteriorating physically that he couldn't carry on. 

The Bolton News: When he was the manager of Greenall United in 1978When he was the manager of Greenall United in 1978

"We couldn't have wished for a better role model, a better father. He was very loyal, he was very loving as a dad. 

"Me and my brother have had people messaging us through social media or in person. Some of the stories people have told us are giving the family strength and comfort. 

"We had one man who had been coached by my dad, he wrote him a letter in 2001 when he retired to thank him for all the support." 

In the letter, the man said "the only way to describe you is my mentor, Bob" and that "nothing was ever too much trouble". 

The Bolton News: Bob ShuttleworthBob Shuttleworth (Image: Family)

Gary added: "He is still involved in his 70s, doing walking football, and he told us he doesn't think he would be involved if he hadn't had the support from dad. 

"I spoke to him, he said he can still remember that letter, and that he meant it then and still means it now." 

Mr Shuttleworth's funeral is at 4pm on Monday, February 5, at Howe Bridge Crematorium. The family welcomes anyone who wishes to pay their respects to him. 

John Bullen, amateur and non league football correspondent for The Bolton News in the 1980s and 90s, said: “Bob was an absolute gem of a man, great fun and full of enthusiasm for the game. Back then the Bolton Sunday League had over 65 teams competing in five divisions.

The Bolton News: Bob ShuttleworthBob Shuttleworth (Image: Family)

"If you work out the maths that is over a thousand footballers benefitting every Sunday from the efforts Bob and his fellow administrators put in – and all voluntary. 

"In the late 90s Bolton football received a massive boost when Bolton Wanderers offered to back a cup competition. It was called the Goldline Trophy. Bob joined the committee and played a major part in making it a big success.

"He was a great friend and a true gent. God Bless Bob you were a diamond.” 

Mr Shuttleworth leaves behind his sons, Gary and Andy.