Touching tributes to retired Burnley detective with 'legendary sense of humour'

Heartfelt tributes have been paid to a highly respected and popular retired detective from Burnley who has died at the age of 80.

Thursday, 16th July 2020, 11:49 am
Retired detective David Corbett

Lifelong Clarets fan Mr David Corbett was a hugely popular figure, who worked on some of the region's biggest crimes during his career, notably the Yorkshire Ripper case.

Joining the former Burnley borough police force in 1963, Mr Corbett rose to the rank of Detective Sergeant and for a time worked with the Special Branch and the Regional Crime Squad on several major incidents, including the case of serial killer Peter Sutcliffe.

Away from work, David was well-known throughout Burnley for his "young-at-heart" approach to life which saw him exercise regularly and meet up with pals and relatives on Turf Moor, Ighten Mount Bowling Club and the Crooked Billet in Worsthorne.

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David Corbett during his younger years in the force

Described as "a cheerful chap" by daughter Melanie, David was a familiar face at Burnley's Crow Wood gym where he would swim every week despite his advancing years.

Melanie said: "Dad was fit as a fiddle. He would go to Crow Wood every week, as well as walk several miles a day. He was a cheerful chap who was always smiling. They used to say even the villains loved him! He retired in the 1990s.

"Together with my mum Rita, who died 12 years ago, they enjoyed touring America and Australia. He also had an apartment in Tenerife which he would visit several times a year.

"Dad also enjoyed caravanning in Scarborough and Coniston, and loved listening to Pink Floyd and The Killers. Dad loved going on the Turf to watch the football, in particular with his friend and former Clarets player Andy Lochead. A group of them would talk about the match afterwards at Ightenmount Bowling Club.

"He actually fell ill on a check-up at the Royal Preston Infirmary following an operation on his lungs on his 80th birthday. The doctors later discovered he had melanoma and a bleed on the brain. He passed away with myself and brother Ian at his bedside at Pendleside Hospice on Saturday."

Former colleagues of David have lined up to pay tribute to him since news broke of his death, including good friend, retired Detective Chief Inspector Garry Gluyas.

Garry said: "Dave was a very good friend, an excellent copper, but most of all a genuine person. He was a considerate and experienced supervisory officer who was extremely patient and always prepared to share his extensive knowledge to any junior officer. His sense of humour was legendary."

David leaves daugher Melanie, son Ian, their partners, and grandchildren Emma, Ben and Holly.

David's funeral will be held at Burnley Crematorium on Thursday, July 23rd, at 2-30pm. The funeral cortege will leave Fred Hamer's funeral home, Padiham Road, at 2-10pm.

Sadly, due to coronavirus restrictions, the number of mourners is limited but the family is running a webcast from the service. Anyone wishing to watch this should email Melanie on [email protected]