THE family of a dad-of-one who died after a crash on the Rainford bypass on Saturday morning have paid tribute to him.

Motorcyclist Gary Spafford, 31, from Tarleton, has been described as "a lovely person always smiling and full of life".

They said: "We are devastated by the sudden loss of our Gary, which has left an enormous hole in our hearts.

"He was a lovely person always smiling, always full of life.

"He was our son, brother, uncle, partner, friend and a dad himself to our beautiful Abbie Rose. He absolutely loved his family and we loved him in equal measure.

"Our family is broken, mum Elaine, dad Neville, step-dad Tony, partner Hannah, brother Karl, sister-in-law Christa, niece Amelia and Nephew Bradley. He adored and admired his Grandma Mary, who will be lost without him.

"He was a devoted father to his daughter Abbie Rose, who is only 8-years-old, and his influence and unconditional love in her life is an enormous loss.

"He would make sure she was always having fun and he took her to swimming, horse riding and gymnastics and they would go camping, where they would have many adventures together.

"He lived with his life partner Hannah who he absolutely adored.

"They lived in Tarleton together and had plans to get married and buy a house of their own, they were lovely together and it is so sad that all the plans they made are now shattered.

"He made sure he lived his short life to the full and he was always surrounded by friends, who were like family to him.

"Gary ran his own business as a Tree Surgeon – The Tree A Team, and his customers would always fall for his wonderful smile, he always managed to charm bacon butties and cups of tea off them.

"Gary loved many things; his job, fishing, walking his dog Pippa and of course his motorbike, which was his ultimate passion.

"At only 31-years-old Gary has been taken from us far too early and we are trying to learn to live without him, he will never be forgotten and will be with us always in our hearts.

"We ask for privacy at this time while we try and make sense of our loss and learn to live without Gary in our lives.”

The crash occurred at 11.15am on Saturday, October 4 involving a motorbike and a car.

Investigations took place throughout Saturday, with a stretch of the Ormskirk-bound carriageway closed until the evening.

Flowers were left at the scene over the weekend.