TRIBUTES are being paid to former Northwich Victoria captain Peter Handyside who has died, aged 49.

The former Grimsby Town and Stoke City central defender, who was born and raised in Scotland, was a key figure in Vics’ National League North title-winning side of the 2005/06 season.

A Vics statement reads: “We are devastated to bring you news of our former captain, Peter Handyside has passed away.

“Peter was a crucial part of our National League North winning side in the 05/06 season.

“Our thoughts are with his family & friends at this time.”

Responses on social media include: Gordon Hill: “Sad to hear. Rest in peace Peter”

Nicky Dee Williams: “I'm gonna miss you so much Pete. I'll be forever grateful that our paths crossed when they did.”

James Wood: “That is truly dreadfully sad news. A great player.”

Nicki: “Very sad news. I remember having a good laugh with him about his own goals. Great player and a good bloke.

Graham Egerton: “Terrible news, another legend gone too soon.”

Although Handyside hailed from Dumfries, his entire senior career was played out in England.

As well as being a great leader for Vics between 2004 and 2006, he was a captain at Stoke where he made 88 appearances and was a promotion winner with them in 2002.

It all started at senior level at Grimsby Town who signed him as a junior before promoting him to the first team in 1992.

Handyside became a Mariners club legend, making more than 200 appearances for them and was a member of the team which won the Football League Second Division play-offs and Football League Trophy during the 1997/98 season.

He also had a one-year spell with Barnsley, where he was also made captain, before joining Vics.

After leaving The Trickies he signed with Hucknall Town before retiring at the end of the 2006/07 season aged 33.