Five weeks after marrying his sweetheart of 24 years, former Evening Post reporter Neil Farnworth has died.
The 75-year-old of Craven Close, Fulwood, proposed to 69-year-old Eileen after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in January. Although admitting marriage was “not top of his priority list” while healthy, the shock of his diagnosis spurred him to think about Eileen’s security after his death.
Within a week - and in secret - they managed to organise a wedding at Preston Register Office in Bow Lane.
On Wednesday, April 13, he died at home - 10 weeks after his diagnosis.
Eileen, a retired care nurse, said: “It’s come very quickly.
“He was a great man, a friend to everyone. He had a great sense of humour and was a bit of a rum one!
“In the last five weeks we’ve tried to spend as much time together as possible. I miss him terribly.”
Neil, who worked at the Evening Post and sister paper the Chorley Guardian as a sports reporter and sub-editor for more than 40 years, had a love of sport and music.
He played for years in the skiffle band the Ramblin Riversiders and had recently learnt to play the bass guitar.
Evening Post Editor Gillian Parkinson, who worked with Neil in the 1990s, said: “Neil was always a valued member of the sports team here at the Evening Post and we are very sad to hear of his death.
“He was a gregarious person who loved being a part of the buzz of the newsroom. He will be sadly missed.”
Neil also leaves a daughter, Paula, son Stuart, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
His funeral will be at 10.45am tomorrow, Friday, at St John the Baptist Church, Broughton, followed by a private burial and a reception at Barton Grange Hotel.