Sheffield says a final goodbye to ‘inspirational’ city councillor Isobel Bowler

Family members follow the coffin of Cllr Isobel Bowler into Sheffield Cathedral
Family members follow the coffin of Cllr Isobel Bowler into Sheffield Cathedral
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Colleagues, friends and family members said their final goodbye to one of the warmest and most popular Sheffield city councillors to have held office.

The funeral of Isobel Bowler, who died from cancer on June 29 aged 52, took place in a packed Sheffield Cathedral earlier today (July 15).

An upbeat service reflected the Mosborough councillor’s lively and loving personality, and it was clear from the number of people there how many lives she had touched.

Amid emotional but often jovial tributes, it was announced that a new £6m football hub being built on the old Westfield School site in Mosborough would be named the Isobel Bowler Sports Park, as recognition of the councillor’s passion in her role as cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure.

Tributes to Isobel written by her husband Richard and daughter Mary were read out by friends. They both shared memories of a loving wife and mother who enriched the lives of everyone she came in contact with.

Remembering his first meeting with his future wife at a party neither were invited to, Richard said one of his first thoughts was ‘here comes trouble’. He went on to recount a marriage with the woman he called a ‘rock chick with a first class degree from Oxford’, recognising her commitment to friends, family and her principles as a Labour politician.

Isobel Bowler with husband Richard and daughter Mary.

Isobel Bowler with husband Richard and daughter Mary.

Richard said his wife had achieved so much in six years as a councillor and, while remaining positive, wondered what more she could have done in years to come.

The couple’s teenage daughter Mary shared fond memories of Isobel as a mother. Mary called her a ‘whirlwind of red hair and passion’, and brought many of those in attendance to tears with her final message: “Goodbye Mum, I love you.”

And Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts looked back on the six years he had worked with Isobel since meeting on the campaign trail in 2010.

He praised her ability to listen to ideas and forge ahead with the best one, along with her passion and strong will. He called her ‘inspirational’.

Mourners arrive at Sheffield Cathedral for the funeral of Cllr Isobel Bowler who died at the end of June

Mourners arrive at Sheffield Cathedral for the funeral of Cllr Isobel Bowler who died at the end of June

The service ended with a rousing version of Easter hymn Thine Be The Glory, accompanied by a trumpet at Isobel’s request. After service, roses were laid at the feet of the new Women of Steel statue.

Donations went to Sheffield Culture Consortium and St Luke’s Hospice.

The cortege arrives at Sheffield Cathedral for the funeral of Cllr Isobel Bowler who died at the end of June

The cortege arrives at Sheffield Cathedral for the funeral of Cllr Isobel Bowler who died at the end of June

Cllr Jackie Longley and former Home Secretary David Blunkett arriving at  Sheffield Cathedral for the funeral of Cllr Isobel Bowler who died at the end of June

Cllr Jackie Longley and former Home Secretary David Blunkett arriving at Sheffield Cathedral for the funeral of Cllr Isobel Bowler who died at the end of June

Cllr Terry Fox and his wife Cllr Denise Fox arrive at Sheffield Cathedral for the funeral of Cllr Isobel Bowler who died at the end of June

Cllr Terry Fox and his wife Cllr Denise Fox arrive at Sheffield Cathedral for the funeral of Cllr Isobel Bowler who died at the end of June