THE chairman of Corwen Football Club has paid tribute to the club's 'larger than life' goalkeeper who died over the weekend.

Martin Lyons says Joshua Jason Atkin, 26, was someone who 'had time for absolutely everyone'.

Joshua, who was from the Saltney area, died in the early hours of Sunday morning following a collision on the A483 in Wrexham.

During his career in football, he had played in goal for teams in Broughton, Buckley, Connah's Quay, Saltney and Lache in Chester before signing for Corwen in August 2020.

Mr Lyons says that, although Joshua was only at the club for less than a year, he had 'taken to the club immediately' and 'had Corwen in his heart'.

He said: "Josh was just a real larger than life character who made such an impact on everyone at Corwen FC in the short time he was with the club.

"He had shown a great interest in the club and just seemed to get what we were all about in terms of community spirit. When he first signed last year, he immediately began to help coaching our under 15's teams and had been a great help to them.

"He was a brilliant role model to those young players at the club and had time for absolutely everyone. He was probably the best thing to happen to us ahead of a season that, unfortunately, never went ahead in the end."

Joshua had played in friendlies against Rhyl and Ruthin and, according to Mr Lyons, had a 'positive attitude' which translated into his time spent on the pitch as well as off it.

He added: "As a player, it's always great when you have a keeper that's a talker and Josh was just that. He was never critical and always positive - the type of player who could have gone on to be captain I think.

"He made a mistake in one match we played and two minutes later made a fantastic save, that was testament to his attitude to bounce back.

"I think Josh came to Corwen Football Club for a bit of a change of scenery and he told me he had heard good things about our club.

"It's always very sad when someone so young dies and his death has come as a real shock to all of us. It's something you just do not expect to happen at all. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time."

North Wales Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone with dashcam footage to come forward to the collision which happened at about 2.40am on Sunday.

In a statement, North Wales Police said: "The family of a man who died following a road traffic collision in the early hours of this morning (Sunday), have said they are 'deeply saddened' at the death of their son.

"26 year old Joshua Jason Atkin was from the Saltney area.

"His family are being supported by specialist officers, and have asked that their privacy be respected at this difficult time.

"We are appealing for witnesses or anyone with dashcam footage in the area of junction 5 of the A483 (Mold) at approximately 2.40am this morning.

"Please contact us on 101 or visit: quoting ref. Z041991."