'Amazing’ Burnley granddad and DJ who dedicated nearly four decades to helping make children’s dreams come true loses pancreatic cancer battle

An ‘amazing’ Burnley granddad who dedicated nearly four decades to helping make children’s dreams come true has lost his battle with cancer.

Despite being “incredibly ill,” kind-hearted dad-of-three Isaac Bailey was still entertaining disadvantaged children at discos right before he died of pancreatic cancer aged 60 last Thursday.

Isaac, who leaves behind his wife of 41 years Annette, sons Keiron, Cameron and Blair, and four grandchildren, has helped three generations of families while volunteering with youths in Burnley, Padiham and Hapton.

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He was best-known as the Friday night DJ for children’s discos at West End Community Centre in Venice Street and took children on holidays to places like Butlins and trips to the circus, theatre and theme parks. He also supported Christmas toy appeals.

Isaac Bailey with his wife of 41 years, Annette, and one of his grandchildren, Sophia.

His eldest son, Keiron, said: “He was just a giving person, very kind, and everyone loved him to bits. You couldn’t ask for a better dad.

"When he was having hospital appointments, he was still doing the discos. And before he died, he was in hospital for 12 days and was still saying he was going to do the disco that week.”

Isaac began his voluntary journey as a parent-governor at Taywood Nursery School, which one of his sons attended, and continued the role at Myrtle Bank Infant School, Hargher Clough Junior School and Cherry Fold Community Primary School. He also helped to run afterschool and holiday clubs at Sycamore Play Centre, the Phoenix Centre and Ivy Bank High School for more than 35 years, as well as fundraising for children’s trips and providing breakfast to deprived youngsters.

Chris Keene, Isaac’s good friend for more than 30 years, called his dedication to the area “incredible”. The pair met while doing community work when Isaac was a parent-governor at Taywood.

Chris, who is the secretary of West End Community Centre, said: “Even after his boys had grown up, he remained a governor. It shows the dedication of the guy. He cycled all the way to Blackpool about 20 years ago to raise money for activities and used to love playing Santa and delivering presents.

"He realised he had so much to give and he got back from giving because he enjoyed it so much, and was good at it and very well-liked by both parents and children.

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"Even when he was incredibly ill, he would still come down here to do the discos. It shows the mark of the man.

"He was very kind, thoughtful, and would always do anything for anybody. He worshipped his family, and was an amazing guy. He will be sadly missed.”

Isaac, who was originally from Bradford, also had a passion for Leeds United Football Club and bonded over this with fellow supporter and Yorkshireman Chris. Before he died, he asked his friend to wear their team’s shirt at his funeral, which Chris says he will honour.

Commenting on his dad’s funeral, Keiron said: “We want as many people as possible to go to help celebrate his life. Because he’s done so much for the area, it’s time to give back to him.”

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Isaac’s funeral will take place on Monday, December 19th leaving West End Community Centre at 1-15pm and going to St Matthew’s Church for 1-30pm and Burnley Crematorium for 2-30pm. The wake will be at Rosegrove Railway Club from 3pm.