Tributes paid to coaching legend and community champion

The Funeral service for Tony Bamber will take place at 9.30am on Saturday 6th June 2015 at St Michaels Church, Greenway Road, Runcorn followed by committal at Runcorn Cemetery.

TRIBUTES are being paid to a Runcorn coach owner hailed ‘a community champion’.

Dad-of-two Tony Bamber, aged 68, died at his home in Victoria Road on Monday 11th May, after courageously battling cancer.

He founded family firm Anthony’s Travel with his wife, Anne and son, Richard in 1985.

The company, hailed the best in Britain last month after winning a trio of gold awards and a bronze, has supported countless charities.

Tony’s son, Richard, said: “Not only did we lose a loving husband, father and grandfather, we lost a true legend of Halton and a community champion.

“As a family we are all heartbroken but would like to extend our thanks to all the people from near and far that have contacted us to share their condolences and their love and respect for my father.”

Tony supported Halton Haven Hospice, the Mark Gorry Foundation and many other causes and sports teams.

He sponsored Widnes Downs Syndrome gymnast Omar Haddad, aged 27, helping him to compete at the World Special Olympic Games in Athens.

Omar’s mum, Liz, of Downside, said: “Tony has been an absolutely fantastic supporter.

“He sponsored him all through his gymnastic life from when he started taking him to school aged four.

“When I told Omar that Tony had died, he said: ‘He was my champion’.

“Every time he won a medal, they made a big fuss of him.

“They even named a coach after him.

“They have been absolutely amazing with him.”

Ciaran Clotworthy, Halton Haven Hospice events manager, said: “Tony has been a stalwart supporter of Halton Haven Hospice for over 30 years.

“His support has never waivered throughout and he has openly championed all of the work that we do.

“There have been many occasions over the years that Tony personally and Anthony’s Travel have been able to support the hospice and ensure we have been able to continue with our special kind of caring.

“Our thoughts are with Tony’s family and work colleagues, who we know are a part of his extended family at this incredibly sad time.”

Tony was too ill to attend the UK Coaching Awards last month but received a standing ovation.

Richard said: “He really is a legend in the coaching industry and it was lovely to see that acknowledged.”

Anthony’s Travel was named UK coach operator of the year for the second time and operations managers received gold for being unsung heroes.

The company won a bronze for its community efforts in building brand awareness in coach marketing.