Bill’s snooker legacy for Sheffield charity

Gavin Furness with the snooker memorabilia that Sheffield resident Bill Hawcroft left to older persons' charity Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care when he died in December 2016.
Gavin Furness with the snooker memorabilia that Sheffield resident Bill Hawcroft left to older persons' charity Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care when he died in December 2016.
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A collection of snooker memorabilia, left to an older persons’ charity by a man who benefited from their support, could raise hundreds of pounds.

A cue signed by baize legend Terry Griffiths and autographed photos of reigning world champion Mark Selby are amongst the items being auctioned online by Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care,(SCCCC).

The items belonged to 89-year-old William Hawcroft, known as Bill, from Netherthope, who died in December on the tenth anniversary of his wife’s death following a short battle with lung cancer.

Bill had no known living family, but he had been so grateful for the support he received through SCCCC’s ‘Good Neighbour Scheme’ that he decided to leave the contents of his house to the charity in his will.

Bill had felt isolated on his return from hospital following his cancer diagnosis and treatment and was referred to the charity’s befriending scheme for over 65s, which includes regular visits, telephone support and one-off emergency shopping trips.

He became friends with volunteer befriender Gavin Furness, who said: He said: “Bill said that the charity had been so kind and he didn’t have any other friends. He had no one else to leave his money to and wanted to support the good work of SCCCC.

“When Bill went into the Northern General Hospital, myself and one of the charity’s trustees John Wills took it in turn to visit him so he always had a friend. I always used to collect clean clothes and an electric razor for Bill because he took great pride in his appearance. Bill was very grateful and called me his pal.

“Bill moved into a care home in September as he was too unwell to return home. At this point he asked me if the contents of his home could be used to raise funds for the charity. I had told him about the SCCCC eBay shop and the sale of his belongings raised more than £700.

“We continued to visit Bill and celebrated his 89th birthday in November with a cake. He was becoming very weak and expressed his wish for the charity to be remembered in his will in the form of a legacy donation. Bill died on Sunday December 11, exactly 10 years to the day his dear wife Shirley had died.

“Bill was a fantastic, generous person. Hopefully the sale of his snooker memorabilia will provide a final, fitting legacy to his long and wonderful life.”

For more information, please email ericka.hill@scccc.co.uk