TRIBUTES have been paid to a family man who played a vital role in West Cumbria’s sport and was trusted by his customers.

Michael Gordon Dunsmoir, owner of Kirkland Carpet and Bed Centre, died on New Year’s Eve at the age of 71.

A loved husband of the late Sylvia, he leaves sons Alistair, Andrew and Dominic, daughters-in-law Laura and Jacky, and grandchildren Courtney, Abigail, Aaron, Adam and Aiden and siblings John and Helen.

Mr Dunsmoir set up his business in Cleator Moor with his late wife in 1982.

His son Alistair, 45, who now runs the business with his 41-year-old brother Andrew, said: “Although he retired a number of years ago he used to come down every day.

“He enjoyed the interaction with people and the craic, he was a bit of a character, that was his forte.

“We couldn’t get rid of him at the business, he was really coming every day until November. It was his baby. My mum died of cancer in 1992 and they both set it up together and me and my brother are now continuing it.

“There are families that we’ve served for three generations, it’s nice because they developed a lot of trust with my dad and now they’ve passed that trust on to us.”

Mr Dunsmoir, who was originally from Flimby, decided to set up his business after working at Leslie Cleeland in Cockermouth.

He initially opened two shops, one in Cockermouth and one in Cleator Moor, which is still open.

Alistair described his dad as a family man and said many in West Cumbria will remember him for his role in supporting sport.

Alistair said: “He enjoyed the speedway. He sponsored it since it came back to Workington in 2000, he was the main team sponsor. He helped a number of riders develop over 20 years.”

Mr Dunsmoir also helped other teams, including Workington Town, Whitehaven RL, Cleator Moor Cricket Club and Workington Reds.

His funeral will take place at St John’s Church in Hensingham on January 23 at 11am, followed by interment at Maryport Cemetery.