Tributes pour in for Wigan councillor who has died at the age of just 51

Tributes have poured in for an “adored” Wigan councillor known for riding his Harley Davidson and shredding the guitar in his band.

Coun Anthony Sykes, who has been off town hall duties for a number of months on sick leave, died on Friday September 30 at the age of just 51.

He was well known among Ashton residents for his hands-on approach to work – even delivering groceries to people on his motorbike during the Covid lockdown.

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Elected in 2018 as a Labour councillor, he was involved in many campaigns in his ward.

Coun Anthony Sykes on his beloved Harley
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Fellow councillor and friend Danny Fletcher, said: “My good friend and mentor, Anthony, was a true local activist, loved by all who met him and who adored our Ashton community.

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"Anthony had an incalculable source of strength and determination that he used to help those in most in need, stemming from a strong social conscience.

“All my love and thoughts are with Anthony’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

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Coun Sykes clearing slippery paths in Ashton two years ago

Coun Jenny Bullen, an Ashton councillor as well as friend and neighbour of Coun Sykes, added: “Anthony was a good friend and colleague. He always had the best interests of Ashton residents at heart.

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“During Covid he delivered medicines and groceries to residents on his Harley Davidson motorbike.

"Anthony was always first to volunteer on local projects like community litter picking, clearing Millingford Brook, working on Ashton Heath, supporting local sports clubs and the Hamlet at Three Sisters.

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“At the Christmas Lights Switch-On, Anthony joined performers on stage with his guitar.”

Wigan Council have confirmed that they will fly the town hall flag at half mast as a mark of respect.

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They shared their condolences and expressed that he will be sadly missed by all those in the council chamber.

Council leader David Molyneux said: “It is with great sadness that we hear of the passing of Councillor Anthony Sykes. First elected in 2018, Councillor Sykes’ enthusiasm and dedication for his role as an elected member was clear for all to see.

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“He was a valued and respected colleague who will be missed by everyone within the council chamber, and the thoughts of everyone at Wigan Council are with his family and friends at this difficult time. Town hall flags will fly at half-mast as a mark of respect.”