A FATHER has paid a touching tribute to his “dream son”, who died in a car crash.

Ben Oakley, 34, from Weston Rhyn, died after the two-vehicle collision on the M6 in Kendal, Cumbria, last week.

His father Stephen said the news of his son’s death was “every parent’s nightmare”.

He described his son as a “likeable rogue”, hailing his sporting achievements and adding how they enjoyed socialising and having a laugh together in the Oak Inn.

“It was my life doing sport, football and cricket, so he was my dream son,” he said.

Mr Oakley told how his son had been on his way to pick up his girlfriend in Sunderland on Monday, January 7 .

“He was a couple of hours late, she phoned us and the police must have looked at the car details, went round to see her and she phoned us,” he said.

The collision involved a red Renault Megane and a blue Scania Artic, both travelling northbound at the time.

Ben was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver of the Scania was uninjured

Ben – who was living in Oswestry – was a keen sportsman, who played more than 100 games for Cae Glas Cricket Club from 2000 to 2009.

He also represented North Shropshire Cricket at every age group.

The former Marches School pupil also turned out for several football teams, including Llansantffraid FC, Four Crosses as well as the Builders Arms and Black Lion pub teams among others.

In his youth Ben – who also attended Yale College in Wrexham – represented Oswestry Boys Club, attended the Chester School of Excellence and played county football at every age group.

He also had trials with Stoke, Wrexham and Crewe.

“We were very close through sport and various things – he spent a couple of years at Chester FC’s school of and so I ran him around here, there and everywhere,” Mr Oakley said.

Cae Glas Cricket Club chairman Andy Griffiths said that Ben was “confident, but never arrogant and a lad who was always prepared to listen”.

“He will always be remembered as a free-flowing batsman with quick hands and tremendous timing,” Mr Griffiths added.

“He was also a superb fielder and a number of people have commented on that – he was a tremendous athlete.”

Ben – who worked in contracting for Shropshire County Contracting before joining KCS Contracting – is also survived by his four-year-old daughter Ava-Rae, sisters Faye and Alex, and mother Brenda.

His funeral is set to be held on Friday, February 8 at Shrewsbury Crematorium.