Wigan councillor mourned following death at just 44

Tributes have been paid to a Wigan councillor who has died at the age of just 44.

Paul Maiden had been an independent representative for Hindley Green since 2018.

He had been battling ill health for some time and recently announced from a hospital bed in Salford that he would not be trying to retain his seat at this year's council elections in May, but did express hope to have another crack at local politics at some point in the future.

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He revealed that he had been suffering from calcified arteries which had resulted in the removal of several toes and part of his foot, with a below-knee amputation to come and the possible loss of fingers as well.

Coun Paul Maiden

The news was broken by Christine Lawler, from Hindley and Hindley Green Community Action Group who wrote: "It is with great sadness that we have to share the news that Paul Maiden, Independent Councillor for Hindley Green, and dear friend, passed away on Sunday evening.

"Paul has worked tirelessly to the end for the residents of Hindley Green and the wider Wigan borough, and will be greatly missed by his family, many friends and colleagues.

"Rest in peace Paul, you leave behind a legacy of hard work and commitment to be proud of."

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"He left us peacefully... which those who knew him will know is very unlike him... with his family around him.

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"You're finally out of pain Paul. Rest easy mate xx."

Former independent councillor Gareth Fairhurst said: "Paul was a lovely guy; salt of the earth, and he loved Wigan through and through.

"He was proud to represent Wigan and Hindley Green and he tried to make life better for everybody."

A music promoter by profession - Mr Fairhurst said he had previously been a roadie with a rock band - Coun Maiden lived at home with his beloved mum.

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Club owner Michael Pagett said: "My thoughts and prayers today go out to Paul Maiden’s close friends and family.

"Over the years Paul has been nothing but supportive to me both in business and personally. We’ve had many a rant and heated debate and shared laughs over several beers.

"Rest in peace my friend."

Singer Joe Astley wrote: "Lost for words to have heard about our old mate Paul Maiden.

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"When I worked at the music shop years ago and typically always wore a suit, he'd always come in and call me 'best dressed mon in Wigan!'

"Got to know him personally over the years and did lots of my early gigs for him.

"He'd always stop me for a chat in town and a good moan! A truly sound bloke with a fierce personality, always had time for you. His influence on the Wigan music scene can't be overstated."

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