Teenager admits to killing football club stalwart

Dixon Avenue, Newton-le-Willows
Dixon Avenue, Newton-le-Willows

A teenager has pleaded guilty to killing Newton-le-Willows pensioner Richard Percival.

But the 17-year-old, who is also from Newton but cannot be named for legal reasons, did not enter pleas to murder and theft charges when he appeared at Liverpool Crown Court.

He is accused of stealing £620 from Mr Percival, known locally as Dickie, as part of the incident.

The youth has been remanded in custody until September 18 for a further plea hearing. A provisional trial date of February 12 has been pencilled in.

Detectives had previously confirmed that a 29-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender, in relation to the same inquiry.

Officials at Vulcan FC, where Dickie was a player and later club secretary, have paid tribute to the 71-year-old, whose body was found with head injuries on Friday afternoon at his Dixon Avenue home.

A Vulcan FC spokesman said: "Richard, known to all as Dickie, was a tremendous servant to the club both on and off the pitch. Dickie began his playing career in the 1960s and continued playing into his 40s.

"Dickie took on the role as club secretary and kept this role well into his 60s. Dickie was a regular at Vulcan games both home and away. When not attending games Dickie kept in regular contact with the club, checking on how things were going."

He was also recognised as a stalwart of the Warrington District Football League, where he served for 21 years on the committee and achieved life membership. First-team players observed a minute's silence before Vulcan's weekend away fixture against Unicorn.