Emotional tributes have been paid to the murdered football coach Michael Jones at a New York memorial.
Around 500 mourners attended the service at a Westchester County church for the 25-year-old, from Tarleton, near Preston, who was stabbed to death in the city.
Mr Jones’ fellow coaches wore football shirts reading “Jonesy” on the back at the First Baptist Church in White Plains, in an event organised by the New York Red Bulls, who hired the former Tarleton Academy pupil five years ago.
Jerome De Bontin, general manager of the Red Bulls, said: “His love and passion for soccer made him a cherished member of our family.
“He was extremely well liked, not only by the kids he coached, but also his friends and his peers.”
Lucas Kaehr, nine, had been coached by Mr Jones since he was four.
He said: “He was more than just a great coach, he was a great friend.
“I loved coach Mike.”
His mother, Cathryn Kaehr, from Westchester, added: “Mike Jones was a hero to so many kids in the community.”
Mr Jones’s colleague, John Birchall, said his friend was “always smiling, laughing and joking” and was “just such a fun guy to be around”.
A phone message from Mr Jones’ father Perry, 50, was played during the service.
He said: “He enjoyed being in America. He loved his job.
“He loved the people and all the friends he made there.”
Mr Jones’ girlfriend, Bryeanne Murphy, 23, who talked to him on his mobile phone before he was killed at around 4.30am on Sunday in a possible case of mistaken identity, did not speak.
Wearing a black dress, she sat crying next to her dad, Tim Murphy, who comforted her.
Mr Jones was found close to Union Square, near 25 West 14th Street, with stab wounds to his neck and torso. His ear had also been severed.
His suspected killer, Orlando Orea, who also uses the surname Gutierrez, 32, remains at large after fleeing to Mexico.
New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly said the force was working with the FBI to track him down.
Mexico has an extradition treaty with the US in cases where there is no possibility of a death penalty.
The death penalty was ruled unconstitutional in New York State in 2004.
Orea has previous arrests for assault and for violating a protection order taken out by the mother of his child.