Tributes paid to popular man from borough after cancer battle
A community is in mourning for a man who has been described as a local legend.
The family of David Baxter, who was known to everyone as Stan, says it has received an outpouring of sympathy and grief following his death at the age of 64.
Atherton resident Stan was a regular and popular sight at pubs around the town and in neighbouring Tyldesley and was also well known for his devotion to Bolton Wanderers.
His sister Sharon Baxter said: “We are all devastated. Even though we knew he had cancer and they had told us it was incurable it is unbearable.
“He was so well-loved. The amount of messages we have had on Facebook and cards my mother has received has been amazing.
“People have been coming round socially distanced to pay their condolences. They have been saying he was a legend.
“I never knew he was so popular and so loved by so many people.”
Stan was given his nickname as a pupil at Astley St Mary’s RC High School and was a quip by a teacher on the name Stan Baxter who was a popular comedian at the time.
The name stuck and followed Stan throughout his life, which saw him leave school and join David Brown’s in Leigh as an apprentice welder before he went on to join family firm Neary Construction.
He stayed there until his illness forced him to retire from work.
Stan was also a lifelong Bolton Wanderers fan and would travel to away matches with the supporters’ club as well as going to all the home games.
He could also regularly be found in the Atherton Arms where he enjoyed doing the newspaper puzzles from the corner where he always sat.
His family heaped praise on Atherton-based Harmony Care which looked after him during his illness at the Hamilton Street address where he had lived since 1980.
Sharon says a flag marking his life and his favourite football club is being placed outside the pub as a tribute to him.
Stan’s death has left his large and close-knit family heartbroken.
He is survived by his mother Ellen Baxter, his sisters Maureen Simpson and Sharon Baxter and his daughter Aimee.
He is also being mourned by his niece Fiona, his nephew David and his cousins in the Furey family.
He was so close to the six male siblings in the family growing up that he was dubbed “the seventh brother” by them.
Sharon said: “We were inseparable as a family. We were always at each other’s houses and we all played together as children.
“At the family firm they had to stop work the day they got the news of Stan’s death. They are all devastated.”
His family is planning a Roman Catholic church service and a wake for his funeral.
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