Peter Kay’s tribute to brave mum Polly

Terminally ill mum Polly Haydock with husband Dan, her mum Judith and children Darcy, 18, Emma, nine, and Alex, seven
Terminally ill mum Polly Haydock with husband Dan, her mum Judith and children Darcy, 18, Emma, nine, and Alex, seven

Comedian Peter Kay passed on his condolences to the husband of a mum who has died after a battle with cancer.

The funnyman held several shows in Manchester and Blackpool to raise money for Polly Haydock.

The first two shows alone raised £148,352, which went towards a fund for Polly to have treatment in Germany.

The mum-of-three touched the hearts of many people when she set up the fund-raising appeal.

People wanted to help and the cash rolled in, with donations and fund-raising events taking the total to £223,620.

Her husband Dan, from Atherton, said: “It was fantastic, the support from everybody, from total strangers to old friends that we had lost contact with, to celebrities like Dawn Ward and Peter Kay.

“Beside the money, Peter rang a few times to speak to Polly and give us support.”

Polly grew up in Westhoughton with her mum Judith Cleworth.

She married Dan on August 13, 2005, at St James’ Church in Daisy Hill and they moved to Atherton nine years ago.

Polly had three children - Darcy, 18, Emma, 10, and Alex, eight - and enjoyed socialising and travelling.

Dan said: “On the outside to everybody she was life-loving, bubbly and very beautiful, personality and the way she looked as well.

“To those who knew her closest, she was a dedicated friend and advisor with a soft and caring heart.”

But Polly was diagnosed with stage three colorectal cancer in October 2015.

She was told in July last year that her condition had become terminal and she had just six months left to live.

She launched the fund-raising appeal so she could go to Germany for treatment not available in the UK.

Hundreds of thousands of pounds was raised and Polly started to have the treatment.

But her health deteriorated and she was admitted to Wigan And Leigh Hospice earlier in the summer, where she stayed for four weeks.

Dan said: “They were absolutely amazing. The support there was brilliant. I don’t know what we would have done if they weren’t there.”

Polly spent her last week at home with her family.

She was holding her mother’s hand when she died on Tuesday, August 8, aged 37.

A funeral for Polly will be held at 1.30pm today at St James’ Church in Daisy Hill - the church where she married Dan - followed by a service at Howe Bridge Crematorium.

Instead of buying flowers, people are asked to consider making a donation to the hospice.

Dan said he particularly wanted to thank friends Rachel Peers, Lisa Smith, Russell Roberts, Jason Bright and Logan Stryx for both their fund-raising efforts and support for the family.

He also highlighted Joanne Howcroft and Catherine Sanchez, who set up Polly’s Angels to raise money for their friend and will keep fund-raising to help other people.