TRIBUTES have been paid to a long-time Earby churchgoer and bowls player who "dedicated his life to everyone else".

Malcolm Harling died at age of 71 on Tuesday, July 22, at Pendleside Hospice.

Mr Harling, who is survived by his wife Joan, three sons, Andrew of Earby, Paul of Portsmouth, Neil of Earby, one daughter, Stephanie Harling of Clitheroe, and four grandchildren, has been described as a "strong family man".

"He was very, very well known in Earby," said Stephanie. "He was a strong family man who dedicated his life to everyone else by giving his time, care and love."

Mr Harling, who was born in Blackburn, moved to Earby about 50 years ago and got a job as a draftsman at Rolls-Royce in Barnoldswick.

During his life, he served as captain of the Barnoldswick Boys Brigade, enjoyed crown green bowling and was most recently a member of Westfields Bowling Club in Nelson.

But Stephanie said "the church was a massive part of his life" and he was a member at All Saints Parish Church in Earby for nearly 50 years.

Mr Harling's association with All Saints was strong, and churchwarden Vera Cocker paid tribute to her long-time friend.

"He was a lovely, lovely man and a dear friend," she said. "He was the treasurer, but Lew (fellow churchwarden Lewis Stott) and I always joked that he was the third warden. We did everything together for the church."

Mr Harling's son, Neil Harling, added: "He's in a place of peace, but we're fortunate we've got to say good-bye. He's made a big impression on a lot of people. It's been amazing to hear the stories of his life."

A funeral for Mr Harling will be held at noon today (July 31) in All Saints Parish Church, Earby. Cremation at Skipton Crematorium will take place at 1pm and a wake will follow at Rolls-Royce Leisure Club.