Tributes to attack victim who was ‘a big character’

Flowers left outside the Tesco store in Kilnhouse Lane, St Annes, in memory of Barry Kirkham (below) who died after being attacked.
Flowers left outside the Tesco store in Kilnhouse Lane, St Annes, in memory of Barry Kirkham (below) who died after being attacked.

Colleagues of a man who died after he was assaulted outside a takeaway have paid tribute to “a big character”.

Barry Kirkham, 47, was attacked outside Zeko’s Takeaway, in St Annes, at around 11pm last Monday after attending the funeral of his friend.

Barry Kirkham

Barry Kirkham

Detectives launched a murder probe into Mr Kirkham’s death.

And today those who worked alongside him in the town’s Kilnhouse Lane Tesco,say they are still coming to terms with their loss.

Sharon Jolly, a team leader at the store, worked with Mr Kirkham and covered his shift so he could attend his friend’s funeral.

She said: “I worked with him for three years and he was a star and will be missed.

“He was such a big character, gentle giant and a superb guy.

“He always used to have a laugh and a joke at work and always used to sing in the warehouse.

“When we worked together it was never like work and I called him my ‘work husband’ because I saw more of him than people at home.

“It still hasn’t sunk in about what’s happened.

“People are coming into the store who don’t know what’s happened and they are very upset when they find out.”

Mr Kirkham was attacked outside Zeko’s takeaway on Park Road, St Annes after attending the funeral of his friend John Chandler.

Police say post mortem results suggest Mr Kirkham was hit, fell to the ground, and banged his head, knocking him unconscious.

He then died of asphyxiation after choking.

A 32-year-old man, from St Annes, was arrested on suspicion of murder, and a 45-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of assault.

Both have now been released on police bail while the investigation continues. Both men have been bailed until September 3.

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