TRIBUTES have been paid to an elderly couple found dead in their holiday home in Spain.
Laurence and Katie Dargan — both aged 92 — were found in their apartment two weeks after flying out to Benidorm for a three-week holiday.
The cause of their deaths is not yet known and police in Spain are carrying out toxicology tests to determine the circumstances.
Mr and Mrs Dargan, who lived in Winslow Road, Hunger Hill, had visited Benidorm every year for 30 years.
Their neighbour, Joanna Harwood, had driven the couple to Liverpool Airport at the start of their holiday last month.
She had known the pair for nearly 25 years.
Mrs Harwood, aged 49, said: “It’s such sad news — we will miss them very much, because they were lovely, lovely people.
“They were both very excited and couldn’t wait to go away.
“My husband and I had agreed to look after the house while they were gone, as we always did.
“I was due to pick them up from the airport but I found out five days before they were due to return that they had died.
“Laurence and Katie were very young for their age.
“They kept themselves to themselves, but they seemed to have a very good social life.”
Mr and Mrs Dargan had both been captains at Horwich Golf Club and owned a bathroom fitting business together.
Mr Dargan served as a bomber pilot during World War Two and was a Labour councillor in the 1950s.
They did not have any children.
Their nephew, Chris Beardsworth, aged 67, said: “I was shocked when I heard the news — they both seemed in good health.
“They were very private, but very nice people.”
Family friend Ken Oakes, who had known the couple for more than 60 years, since he was a youngster, said he had last seen them in April, three months before their holiday.
Mr Oakes, aged 66, who lives in Niort, Western France, said: “My wife, Ann, and I came back to the UK and we took Laurie and Katie out for some lunch, then we went to Blackpool together.
“They were in really high spirits. They were always together. They never did anything apart.”
Mr and Mrs Dargan were buried at a municipal cemetery on the outskirts of Benidorm.
A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said: “We were notified of the deaths of two British nationals in Benidorm on July 5.
“We provided consular assistance to the family and our thoughts remain with them at this difficult time.”