Mayor-to-be loses battle with cancer

Former Wyre councillor for Hardhorn Graeme Cocker who died after a year-long battle with cancer
Former Wyre councillor for Hardhorn Graeme Cocker who died after a year-long battle with cancer

Tributes have poured in for a long-serving councillor whose year-long battle with cancer prevented him from becoming mayor of Wyre.

Graeme Cocker died at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, aged 64, on Monday evening, just weeks after being told his mouth cancer had spread.

His family today paid tribute to a “generous” man, and keen squash player, who always had time to help others.

The retired solicitor was an avid Eric Clapton fan and enjoyed windsurfing.

His wife of 40 years, Sally, said: “He was very well-known in legal circles and a fair and just man in his working life.

“He was a very sociable person who enjoyed his time with the Blackpool North Round Table Club and the 41 Club.

“He was proud of his children and those who knew him held him in high esteem.”

Mr Cocker leaves behind two children, nurse Mandy Boyles, 37, and financial advisor James Cocker, 34, and grandchildren Nathan, 15, Hannah, six, Thomas, three, and Amelie, two. His mother, Eileen, 94, also survives him.

Mr Cocker’s treatment for cancer, after being diagnosed in February 2013, stopped him becoming mayor in May.

He hoped to take up the position this year instead, until his condition began to deteriorate after Christmas.

Son James said: “He was hugely disappointed. He really wanted to do it but he never once complained.

“People he worked with always say if they had any type of problem, they could always go and speak to him. They said he was so laid-back he was almost horizontal.”

The University of Bristol graduate taught law in Chester for three years, before joining Blackpool law firm Ingham Clegg and Crowther in 1978. He was a partner at the practice, on Leopold Grove, until he retired eight years ago.

He represented Hardhorn on Wyre Council, having first been elected in 1995, and served on the cabinet from 2007 to 2010.

Wyre Council leader Peter Gibson said: “As a councillor, Graeme’s contributions were always wise and well thought through.

“He will be sadly missed by his colleagues and also by the residents of Poulton.”

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