Tributes paid to community figure after ‘brave’ battle with cancer

Richard, centre in the flat cap, with his family at this years Carrington Rally.
Richard, centre in the flat cap, with his family at this years Carrington Rally.

The family of a Boston man who has died after a brave battle against cancer during which he helped raise thousands of pounds for good causes have paid tribute to his memory.

Richard Laight passed away on Friday, at home, in the company of his wife Lindy, and daughters Sami, 30, Vicki, 28, and Georgi, 25. He was 55.

The grandfather to three (with another on the way) had been terminally ill, having been diagnosed with lung cancer about this time last year.

He spent much of the past year supporting two causes close to his heart – Macmillan Cancer Support and Blackfriars Theatre and Arts Centre – and his family say in that time about £15,000 was raised for the pair.

Speaking to The Standard on Monday, Lindy, 55, said: “I have been with him for 35 years and I can’t have wished for a better 35 years.”

She said the family have been left ‘absolutely devastated’ by their loss.

Vicki said: “He is going to leave a massive hole in a lot of people’s hearts.”

The family spoke of Richard’s courage following his diagnosis.

“He just took it on the chin and got on with it,” Vicki said. “His words were ‘we will fight this’. He did show the utmost courage and that’s why we are so proud of him.”

“He never moaned about anything,” said Sami. “He looked forward, he never looked back.”

Richard was a director at Blackfriars and had been heavily involved in the Spain Lane venue for many years.

Following his death, Blackfriars chairman Stuart Bull said: “Richard was still a relatively young man who still had a lot to give, and Blackfriars Theatre and Arts Centre has lost a great friend.”

The family thanked the St Barnabas Hospice and Marie Curie charities for their support, as well as the vast number of people who have shared messages of sympathy with them.

They also wanted to send a message to people of Richard’s age to prompt them to consider cancer if they notice changes in their body to help with early diagnosis.

l Richard’s funeral will take place at the Boston Stump on Tuesday, September 13, at 11.30am, followed by burial at Boston Cemetery and a wake at Blackfriars.