Former Mayor of Burnley dies

TONY LAMBERT (S)

TONY LAMBERT (S)

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A FORMER Mayor of Burnley and long-standing respected councillor has died at home.

Retired policeman Coun. Tony Lambert died aged 72 on Thursday morning at home in Worsthorne surrounded by his family. He had been diagnosed with cancer shortly before being elected Mayor in 2010.

Despite his illness, Coun. Lambert served his civic duties tirelessly and raised £21,000 for his chosen charities the Burnley Play Association, the haematology and chemotherapy unit at Burnley General Hospital and the North West Air Ambulance.

A quietly spoken gentleman, he was married to Brenda for 52 years and the couple had three children Lesley, Gillian and Philip, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Philip said: “Dad had a relapse just after the election in May and has been very ill since then. He hid it well, particularly in his mayoral year, when he worked really hard. That was the highlight of his council work – he was very proud. We are also equally proud of the money he raised for the charities which were close to his heart.”

Coun. Lambert was first elected for Labour to Trinity ward in 1998 and served there until his death. He was a hugely popular figure in the area where many residents supported him throughout his illness.

Philip added: “Dad was a keen swimmer in his younger days, and also enjoyed football and cricket. My parents did a lot of walking and holidaying together.

“He was a great family man and very passionate about Trinity. He also loved his little dog.”

Born in Parliament Street, Burnley, Mr Lambert attended Heasandford and Towneley schools before joining the police as a cadet in Rawtenstall.

He was also chairman of Worsthorne with Hurstwood Parish Council for 12 years and a governor at Worsthorne Primary School, Blessed Trinity and the Rose School.

Former Labour County Coun. and good friend Tony Martin paid tribute to the former mayor.

“I first signed Tony up to the Communication Workers’ Union which enabled him to join the party. He was a fantastic friend and fantastic councillor. He was very rooted in the community and Trinity was very well served by him. His loss will be felt by many.”

Funeral details are still to be arranged.