Hospice boost in memory of dad

Stuart's dad Barry Gaffney with granddaughters Andrea and Gemma Gaffney and Sister Denise Shepherd of Hartlepool and District Hospice
Stuart's dad Barry Gaffney with granddaughters Andrea and Gemma Gaffney and Sister Denise Shepherd of Hartlepool and District Hospice

FRIENDS of a much-loved dad who lost a battle with cancer have raised £1,700 for a hospice.

The cash was raised in memory of Hartlepool man Stuart Gaffney after a charity night was held at Hartlepool Supporters’ Club, in Sandringham Road, where the 45-year-old was a regular.

Stuart Gaffney

Stuart Gaffney

Stuart’s friend, Alan Hughes, 53, organised the event to raise money for Hartlepool and District Hospice, which cared for his pal.

Stuart, of Macaulay Road, Hartlepool, featured in the Mail in December 2009, describing how a Macmillan nurse helped him reach a New Year he thought he would never see.

He was first diagnosed with a nasopharynx tumour in April 2004 and after chemotherapy and radiotherapy at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrouh, was told in 2005 the cancer had cleared.

But it returned in 2008 and just before Christmas a Macmillan Nurse advised him to bring forward a hospital appointment – a decision he believed saved his life.

But sadly, on March 18, 2010, Stuart lost his fight and passed away at the hospice.

Alan, who previously helped raise £2,500 for the hospice in memory of his late father, also called Alan, said: “I met Stuart through the club and he was a lovely lad.

“He was captain of the snooker team and well-respected.

“All the lads were absolutely shocked when they found out about his cancer.

“He was very brave and never ever complained.

“I’d like to thank the hospice for the fantastic work they did, as well as all the lads and members of the Supporters’ Club for letting us use the facilities.”

Around 200 people attended the event, which featured a four-piece rock band, singers, raffles and a football auction.

Stuart and wife Andrea had four children between them, Gemma, 23, Stuart, 22, Michael, 23, and 18-year-old Daniel.

Andrea, 43, who works in school catering, said: “I can’t thank Alan and the club members enough for what they did.

“The care Stuart received at the hospice was fantastic – they couldn’t have done enough for him.”

Hospice events and community facility Greg Hildreth said: “This is a great tribute to Stuart and I really hope that all involved enjoyed their night at the supporters’ club.

“Every penny raised will be used to help us continue the good work we do for the people of Hartlepool and east Durham.”

Dad-of-two Alan, who lives on the Bishop Cuthbert estate, is planning a similar event in September for members of the club who have lost loved ones.