Saturday, 05 September 2015

A farewell cheer and a lasting tribute to courageous ‘Clarko’ at Walney pub

FRIENDS and family of the courageous Andy Clarke raised a glass in his memory at the unveiling of a memorial seating area at his favourite Walney watering hole.

The granite table and chairs now take pride of place in the beer garden of The Crown in North Scale.

Mr Clarke, 31, passed away in October following a short battle with a brain tumour.

His mum, Michelle Kidd, said: “It is exactly what I wanted for him.

“It is for Andy’s friends to sit on and raise a glass to him in the summer.

“And as the next generation of football lads come through, they’ll always remember him because of this lasting memorial.

“We couldn’t ask for a better son. He’ll always be loved and remembered by us and all who knew him.”

Before he died, a race night had been organised to raise money for a honeymoon for Mr Clarke and his wife Lisa.

The couple married in April last year after Mr Clarke, known as “Clarko”, was diagnosed.

The race night went ahead after his passing in October, with the family opting to raise money for a memorial instead.

And more than 250 people packed The Nines, in Barrow, for the event, raising more than £3,000.

Mrs Clarke said: “The memorial couldn’t be any better for Andy. It’s a fantastic tribute for a fantastic man.

“I’m very proud to be Andy’s wife. The ongoing support we’ve received has been overwhelming. It just shows how popular he was.”

Mr Clarke’s friends wore personalised shirts of his beloved Liverpool FC for his funeral – one of which was framed and hangs in the bar at The Crown as a further tribute.

Landlady Marie Elliot said: “Andy was one of our regulars and a good friend to everyone.

“He came up here every Sunday with the football lads, and he was a really nice lad.

“We just thought it was nice to be able to pay tribute to him.”

Red wristbands and car stickers featuring the slogan “Clarko=Courage” are still for sale, with the proceeds going to the Brain Tumour Research charity.

The items are available from Open All Hours, in Dalton, Cash Converters and Mr Pickwick’s food stall in Dalton Road, Barrow. Alternatively, get in touch with Lisa Clarke or Michelle Kidd via the Facebook page “Clarko=Courage”.

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