FRIENDS of a young man who died in a car accident last year have said he will always be a part of their pub’s Aunt Sally team.

Twenty-two-year-old Joey Fairhurst from Berinsfield crashed his car while driving home after a night out with his team-mates on June 27.

He had spent the evening playing an Aunt Sally match with his team from the Black Swan in Abingdon, against a team for the George and Dragon in Sutton Courtenay.

Black Swan landlady Allie De Silva said: “The atmosphere was excellent that whole night. Joey was always the life and soul of the party.

“At around midnight, Joey said he was off. He gave me a big hug and a kiss and said he would see me at the weekend.

She said that the following day, as friends found out about the crash, they poured into the pub to pay tribute.

She said: “Everyone came out of work. That’s how popular he was. I had never seen so many tears.”

Aunt Sally team-mate Danny Walker said his friend used quirky tactics when playing the pub game.

The 28-year-old, who lives in Abingdon, said “The thing that stood out with Joey was he was able to have a bit more fun. He would always try out tactics like his roly poly throw. He will always be a part of the team.”

Mr Fairhurst, of Shadwell Road, died when his Ford Fiesta crashed on the A415 between Abingdon and Berinsfield.

An inquest at Oxfordshire Coroners’ Court on Thursday, heard the car slightly left the road on the near side, then suddenly veered to the right and crossed the carriageway before going through a hedgerow and hitting a tree.

Pathologist Dr Nicholas Hunt of the John Radcliffe said he had 68mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, below the legal limit of 80mg.

Assistant coroner for Oxfordshire Nicholas Graham concluded Mr Fairhurst died an accidental death.