The funeral of a much-loved councillor is taking place this week.

Tony Dobson, who had represented Barnfield ward in Accrington since 2000 and was also the Hyndburn mayor in 2007/08, died unexpectedly at home on March 31.

Known affectionately among senior Hyndburn councillors and colleagues as a ‘gentle giant’, Cllr Dobson was admired on both sides of the political divide.

The 53-year-old from Oswaldtwistle was elected as Conservative group leader in 2015, and leaves behind wife, Trish, and two young sons.

His funeral will take place at Accrington Crematorium, but due to social distancing measures and the government guidelines on the current coronavirus lockdown situation, the service will be held in private for immediate family only.

A spokesperson for funeral directors, Barton and Hallworth said: “A private funeral service will be held for immediate family only, with a memorial service to be held later in the year.

“A Facebook video will be available to view on the Barton and Hallworth Funeral Service Facebook page from 11am on Friday April 17.

“Tony will be very sadly missed by not just us as a family but also the many Barnfield residents that he and Paul Barton had the honour to serve over their time on Hyndburn Council as their ward councillors."

Cllr Dobson’s family have asked that no flowers be sent to the funeral home, but anyone wishing to make a donation can do so via the Hyndburn Covid-19 Go Fund Me Page, which has now been re-named to serve as a tribute to the former councillor.

His ex-wife, Trish Dobson said: “Tony would be happy to know he is still supporting people even now he has passed away.

“I’m just glad he can help one last time.”

Writing on the Go Fund Me Page, Kimberley Whitehead, who set the page up, said: “Tony was very much a part of our Hyndburn Covid-19 group helping the vulnerable and those in need during the pandemic.

“We are honoured that Tony’s family have requested for donations to be sent to the Hyndburn covid-19 group to donate to help continue on with his work.

“Tony was a kind and generous gentle person. Tony will be a huge loss to Hyndburn.”

To donate visit: