The body of a former footballer who was missing for four days has been identified by police.
James Dean, 35, a former player for Chorley FC and AFC Fylde, was last seen in Oswaldtwistle at around midnight on Wednesday, May 5.
A urgent quest was undertaken on Saturday after his heartbroken family became deeply troubled by his disappearance. But on Sunday, police reported that a body had been found.
“Following thorough police enquiries, a body was discovered in the Moscow Mill Street area about 2.25pm today,” Lancashire Constabulary said in a statement (Sunday, May 9).
“While the body has not been officially named, Mr Dean is thought to be the victim. His family has been notified, and our thoughts and prayers are with them right now.
“The death is not being treated as suspicious and a post-mortem examination will take place in due course.
“We want to express our gratitude to all who helped us in our quest for James.”
James, a striker from Blackburn, started his career with Great Harwood Town before moving on to Clitheroe, Nortwich Victoria, and Stalybridge Celtic.
James made four Football League appearances since joining Bury in 2007.
Stalybridge Celtic paid tribute to the forward on Twitter, posting: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of former Celtic player James Dean. Rest in peace, James.”
His other former clubs also revealed their shock following the news of his death.
Padiham Football club tweeted: “Simply the worst news to be heard. Rest in Peace Deano.”
Ashton Town AFC wrote: “Everyone at Ashton Town is extremely saddened to hear about the passing of James Dean.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very difficult time.