A RUNNING club is holding a memorial event for one of its members who died.

Described as a 'great runner' by a club coach, Michael O'Donnell died unexpectedly at the weekend.

The runner, who owns Forrest Fabrics in Halifax Road, Briercliffe, had been training with Clayton Harriers for at least 15 years, according to club coach, John Roche.

Mr Roche said the club is holding a memorial tomorrow night at Queen's Park in Burnley and members, along with Mr O'Donnell's family and friends, are invited to walk and run around the park.

Mr Roche said: "Michael would train with us on Tuesdays each week so we thought it was fitting to hold the event then.

"He was a great club runner and was very well-known in not just our group, but other clubs too.

"Michael was a very likeable man.

"His death has come as a shock to everyone and it is a big loss to Clayton Harriers and the larger running community.

"He always made time for everyone he knew."

Mr Roche said Mr O'Donnell was a mixed discipline runner and took part in road, cross-country and fell races.

The former Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form and Towneley High School pupil took part in the Pendle and Burnley Grand Prix last year and came a respectable 114th out of 719 runners.

Mr O'Donnell was given the nickname 'Forrest' playing off the 1994 Tom Hanks film Forrest Gump and the name of his business.

Several friends paid tribute to Mr O'Donnell on his Facebook page.

Jez Toon said: "Such sad news, you were always so good to talk to and made time for everyone.

"I never heard anyone say a bad word against you, you were just a really nice person. R.I.P Forrest."

Neil Taylor‎ said: "Absolutely gutted to hear you've left us cousin.

"Been years since we "played out" on the farm and only met again last year after around 20 years when you beat me running up a hill (fluke!).

"We kept threatening to have a catch up but like the busy idiots we are, we didn't.

"RIP pal. Our love from all of us to you and all yours."

All are welcome to the Michael O'Donnell tribute event at Queen's Park tomorrow which will start at 6.30pm.