Tributes paid to former FC Halifax Town striker James Dean after body found in search for footballer

A body believed to be former FC Halifax Town striker James Dean has been found by police.

Sunday, 9th May 2021, 5:51 pm
Updated Sunday, 9th May 2021, 6:16 pm
Fottball - FC Halifax Town v Chorley James Dean

James, 35, had last been seen in the Orchard Drive area of Oswaldtwistle around midnight on Wednesday, May 5.

Following extensive police enquiries a body was found in the Moscow Mill Street area at around 2.25pm today (Sunday), say Lancashire Police.

While the body has yet to be formally identified, it is believed to be James, and Lancashire Police say his family have been informed.

The death is not being treated as suspicious, Lancashire Police say, and a post-mortem examination will take place in due course.

James scored 70 goals in 128 games during his three years at the Shay, becoming a fans’ favourite.

Tributes have been paid to James by some of his former Halifax Town team-mates, with former Halifax captain Danny Lowe posting on Twitter: “I’m absolutely devastated to hear about my former team mate,friend Deano. Goal machine and nightmare on the pitch but a big gentle giant off it. Big heart big smile and left a positive impression on everyone, you will be missed but never forgotten. Rest easy brother.”

Former Halifax goalkeeper Jonathan Hedge posted on Twitter: “Absolutely gutted to hear the news about Deano, a real top man, a gentle giant but a fantastic footballer who I had the pleasure of sharing some brilliant times with. My thoughts are with his family, especially his two young boys at this awful time.”

Former Chorley manager Matt Jansen posted on Twitter: “Absolutely devastated to hear this news, such a great guy. RIP Deano.”

Ex Halifax striker Tom Denton posted on Twitter: “Rest in peace Deano, proper competitor on the pitch and top man off it! Thoughts with his family and friends and this horrible time.”

Bridlington Town, who James also played for, posted on social media: “Such sad news about James. Our thoughts and condolences are with all of his family and friends at this sad time. RIP Deano.”