The boggy summit of the fell, close to where Mr Smith's body was found

The boggy summit of the fell, close to where Mr Smith's body was found

The walker whose body was found on the Bowland fells was a renowned figure in the world of fellrunning.

Bill Smith’s remains were found on Saddle Fell on Saturday by a passing walker.

Police believe his body could have lain in the peat bog where he was found for up to three weeks.

Mr Smith was also a prolific writer on the sport, and tributes to him have been posted on the Fell Runners’ Association website forums.

Pete Booth, chairman of Clayton-le-Moors Harriers, described Bill Smith as a quiet and unassuming gentleman.

Writing on the club’s website, Mr Booth explained the 75-year-old had been a member of Harriers since 1971 and was ‘a well respected, almost revered, member of the Fell Runners’ Association.”

“I was expecting Bill to marshal at Thieveley Pike on 24 September, but he never arrived,” Mr Booth said. “We now know why.”

Mr Smith was possibly best known for his 1986 book Studmarks on the Summits – A History of Amateur Fell Racing 1861-1983, which is now out of print and copies of which sell for sizeable sums.

He had recently been made an honorary member of the Clayton club. Its chairman said: “Despite having to rely on public transport, Bill helped out at a huge number of races, often in the most inaccessible venues.

“He used to take photos, which he would distribute, free of charge, to the subjects and always had a cheery word for anyone who passed the time of day with him.

“A true gentleman – quiet and unassuming. He will be greatly missed by all in Clayton-le-Moors Harriers and the Fell Runners’ Association.”

Members of the Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team recovered Mr Smith’s body from the fell on Sunday.

A spokesperson for Lancashire Constabulary said following the discovery of Mr Smith: “It appears to have been a tragic accident.” Police confirmed the man’s identity as William Smith, 75, who lived alone in Everton, Merseyside.

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