RICHARD ‘Dick’ Oxtoby has passed away at the age of 80, the Bolton Wanderers Former Players’ Association has announced.

The former defender played only a small number of games for the Whites, who gave him his first professional contract in 1955.

But after continuing his playing career with Tranmere Rovers, Runcorn and Lancaster City, he returned to the town to play amateur football well into his fifties.

Oxtoby also managed non-league Ashton United and held coaching roles at several teams around the Bolton area including Bromley Cross, Moss Bank and Turton.

It was estimated in April 2019, as his family sought to raise funds for home-based care during his illness, that Oxtoby had volunteered an incredible 12,000 hours to local football.

In the same year he was sadly diagnosed with a rapid acceleration of Lewy's Body Dementia - effectively a combination of Parkinson's and Dementia.

A statement from the BWFPA read: “Once again, I have to inform followers of the passing of one of our members - Richard (Dick) Oxtoby. Richard signed for the Wanderers in 1955 and, in 1960, transferred to Tranmere Rovers where he spent seven years. Spells at Runcorn and Lancaster City followed.

“He was given an award by the Football Association for his unstinting service to local junior football. This award, presented at Wembley Stadium, rewarded his long coaching connection with young footballers which went on into his seventies.

“Our condolences go out to his wife, June, and all his family. A great, unassuming guy who will be missed by many.”