Loving tribute for talented musician, Claret and dad of two

Martin Simm who has died at the age of 40 after a courageous battle against cancer
Martin Simm who has died at the age of 40 after a courageous battle against cancer

A Clarets fan, talented musician and devoted dad-of-two has died after a courageous three year battle against cancer.

Martin Simm, who was affectionately known as “Simmy,” was diagnosed with a rare head and neck cancer in 2013.

He fought the disease and continued with his job as a housing benefits assessor until recently.

Hundreds of tributes have been posted on social media to 40-year-old Martin who was born and bred in Padiham where he had lived all his life. Martin’s dad, David, described Martin as a “great son.”

He said: “Martin faced his illness with courage and bravery. He was a wonderful son, father and friend.

“I never heard anyone say a bad word about him, ever. He always saw the good in everyone.”

A former pupil at St John’s RC Primary School in Padiham and Billington’s St Augustine’s RC High, Martin spent his career working for Pendle and Hyndburn councils.

A gifted guitarist and lyricist, Martin launched his band, Pretend Girlfriend, in the 90s. The band built up a loyal following and gigged regularly both locally and at some prestigious venues including the Cavern in Liverpool. Martin wrote a lot of the band’s material, basing his songs on events from his life.

A loving dad to sons Liam (17) and 12-year-old Oliver, Martin also leaves his former partner, Kirsten, who remained as his best friend.

Just two months before his death, Martin enjoyed a final holiday in one of his favourite places in the UK, Newquay in Cornwall with a group of his friends.

David said: "We had family holidays there when Martin was a boy and he took his own sons there. It was wonderful for him to return there, he had a great time."

A loyal Burnley fan, tribute was paid to Martin at last Saturday’s game at Turf Moor against Everton which saw Burnley clinch a 2-1 win. Burnley scored their first goal in the 39th minute, a minute before Martin’s name was posted on the board.

David, of Cemetery Road, Padiham, said: “Someone said: "That was Martin who gave us that goal,' and everyone started clapping and singing You Will Always Be A Claret.

“It was a very emotional moment, but one we will never forget.”

Martin also leaves his mum, Sheila, brother Stephen, sister-in-law Anna and nephew Jamie.

Martin's funeral will be held on Thursday (October 27th) with a Requiem Mass at St John's RC Church at 10-30am followed by cremation at Accrington.

A wake will be held at Molly Rigby's in Mill Street, Padiham. Anyone who knew Martin is welcome to attend to pay their respects.