Community fundraiser dies after battling with cancer

Charity fundraiser John Cobbold died on August 15. ANL-150824-120750001
Charity fundraiser John Cobbold died on August 15. ANL-150824-120750001

A grandfather who devoted much of his time helping raise funds for local charities has died after a long battle with cancer.

John Cobbold from Sudbury died on August 15, having battled the disease for a year. Despite his illness, his wife Violet said his death came a lot sooner than expected.

Mr Cobbold was a well-known figure in the town and was the founder of the Sudbury Raft Race, which ran from 1987 to 2002, raising thousands of pounds for the town’s disabled swimming club Avocet.

Mr Cobbold’s support for the charity came through his daughter who has learning disabilities and still swims with the club.

The 67-year-old also raised money for the town’s adult training centre in the town, now known as The Hub,.

Most recently he helped with the annual Car Park Dance, a charity event that restarted a traditional dance from the 1960s.

Mrs Cobbold said her husband enjoyed raising money for the charities.

“He always looked on these things as fun,” she said. “As well as raising money they were fun to do.”

A keen sportsman, Mr Cobbold played for several local football teams, described as the “local Gordon Banks” in one tribute on his Facebook page.

It was also said that he was the first person to do a one- and-a half somersault off the high board at Sudbury outdoor swimming pool.

Leaving school at 15, he first worked at Bruntons Propellers before becoming a long-distance lorry driver for 30 years, finally working at Delphi for nine years before his retirement in December.

Mr Cobbold leaves his wife Violet, children Shani Cobbold, Lee Cobbold and Tammy McSweeney, and two granddaughters.

His funeral takes place on 10am on Tuesday at St Gregory’s Church, Sudbury. The family has asked people to wear football shirts or scarves.

Donations can be made to the Macmillan Ward at West Suffolk Hospital.

n Send your tributes to Mr Cobbold. Email news@suffolkfreepress.co.uk or use the contact details on P12-13