Feb 5 2013 by Steve Graves, Liverpool Echo
She added: “I feel sorry for the people that never had the chance to meet Thomas as they are the ones that have missed out.
“His smile made a lasting impression on everyone he met.
“Thomas had a wide circle of friends all over the country and he will be missed dearly by all of his family and friends, but most of all by me and his two step-children, Lauren, aged 17, and Lewis, aged 21.
“I will always miss him and he will always be in my heart. He was my rock and my soul-mate.”
In the aftermath of Mr Bate’s death shocked friends took to Twitter to pay tribute.
Heather Wall said: “My 1,000th tweet is dedicated to my amazing friend Thomas Bate, who died in a lorry accident in Liverpool. You will never be forgotten.”
Janet Turner posted: “Well lovely fella not long lost his daughter 6 months ago. RIP Tom xxx.”
Another friend wrote: “A good friend sadly died today he will be sorely missed. Goodnite and God bless TOM BATE. Say hello to Becca and Sean for me.”
Mr Bate had played for Quarry Green FC as a goalkeeper.
The Kirkby club posted on Twitter: “Tragic news about our ex-goalkeeper Tommy Bate, condolences go out to all his family and friends from all the lads of Quarry Green.”
Paul Rutherford said: “Spare a moment for a former player, Thomas Bate, who died in an accident this morning. RIP TOMMY.”
Rainford North End FC also paid tribute, posting: “Just heard the tragic news about Tommy Bate. Heartfelt condolences go out to all his family and friends from everyone at Rainford North End.”
A funeral service for Mr Bate will be held at St Chad’s Church, Kirkby, at 10.30am on Monday.
ANYONE who witnessed the crash or has information which could help police should call the roads policing unit on 0151 777 5444.