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Egypt riots cause anguish for Burnley widow
THE wife of a chip shop owner who died after a fall on holiday in Egypt has spoken of her anguish at not being able to bring his body home.
Ken Hankinson, 65, died when he slipped and fell down some steps at his hotel in Nabq Bay in the resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh.
Mr Hankinson and his wife Julie, 53, ran Birds chip shop, in Rosegrove Lane, Burnley.
The accident happened in the early hours of Friday January 28 and Mr Hankinson died in hospital on January 30.
Due to the tense political situation in Egypt, Mrs Hankinson has been told she must wait to bring her husband’s body back.
She said: “They had to take him to the British Embassy in Cairo for the death certificate and passport before we can bring his body home.
“I wanted to come home with him but I didn’t want to be in Cairo with things how they are.
“It is dreadful having to leave him there, just horrendous. I want to see him in his coffin to say goodbye properly, I don’t want my last memory to be of him in the hospital.”
The couple had been in Egypt with Ken’s son David, 29, and a family friend as a surprise 65th birthday present for Mr Hankinson, who celebrated his birthday on January 25 while on holiday.
Mr Hankinson, who was originally from Manchester, moved to Burnley to take over the chip shop 20 years ago, having previously worked in the rail industry.
He met Julie, who is from Sheffield, while on holiday in Tenerife 13 years ago and the couple married in the Bahamas five years ago.
Mrs Hankinson said: “He was really eccentric, he was always walking around in shorts even in the middle of the winter.
“He loved a beer and he loved his sport, he was a massive Man Utd fan and even called our dog Ronaldo.
“He was very popular but people either liked him or they didn’t, there was no middle ground. And he was the same with people, he told it how he saw it, he was a proper man’s man.”
Mr Hankinson was the secretary of the Railway Club, in Rosegrove, where he was a regular drinker, and also helped sponsor Lowerhouse Cricket Club.
Arrangements have not been made for Mr Hankinson’s funeral but Julie said he wanted the event to be a celebration with people wearing red, the colour of Manchester United.
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