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East Lancashire Labour champion, chess chief and ex-head dies at 69
TRIBUTES have been paid to former councillor and head teacher Denis Otter who has died at the age of 69.
Mr Otter, who was from Clayton-le-Moors, was a Labour councillor in Burnley from 2001 to 2008 and was also head teacher of St Peter’s Primary School in Burnley up until 2001.
He was also chairman of the East Lancashire Chess Association for a number of years.
Since 2001 Mr Otter, along with his wife Wendy, had lived in Prestatyn in North Wales where he had taken up a role as councillor with the town council.
Former Burnley MP Peter Pike, chairman of the Labour Party in Burnley, said: “I was very sorry to hear over the weekend of the death of Denis Otter last Thursday.
“I extend my sincere sympathy to his wife Wendy and his son and daughter Sarah and Michael.
“Denis had been a Labour Party member for over 40 years in all and on his retirement had become a Labour councillor in Burnley and became an executive member on the council – for environment.
“I knew Denis as head teacher of St Peter's School in Burnley when I served as a school governor, he had also been active member of St Peter’s Church.
“Denis was a great Clarets fan not only at Turf Moor but over the years travelling to many grounds to watch Burnley play.
“He took a great interest in the First World War and had done a tremendous amount of research and produced a couple of books.”
Mr Otter, who also had five grandchildren, spent 16 years playing front row for Burnley Rugby Club. He spent his early years living in Clayton-le-Moors and went to Accrington Grammar School.
Peter Dickinson, who succeeded him as chairman, said: “He was chairman for many years and was well known within the chess scene in East Lancashire.
“He set up his own chess club in Burnley for a while which was called the Burnley Sparrow Hawks.”