Tragic Robert lives on with novel idea

Tragic: Robert Cooper died from a rare heart condition, aged 25.
Tragic: Robert Cooper died from a rare heart condition, aged 25.
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TRAGIC 25-year-old Robert Cooper died of a rare heart condition - but his name will live on as the central character in a new book by a best selling author, writes Graham Walker.

Auction and raffle items at a charity night in his memory included signed memorabilia and the use of a villa in Spain.

Fundraising: Movie star and ex boxing champ Big Joe Egan, centre, with family and friends of Robert Cooper, who died from a rare heart condition, aged 25.

Fundraising: Movie star and ex boxing champ Big Joe Egan, centre, with family and friends of Robert Cooper, who died from a rare heart condition, aged 25.

But Hollywood screenwriter Dougie Brimson, who wrote Green Street starring Elijah Wood, offered to name the main character in his next book to a highest bidder.

Lee England won with a bid of £140 but asked for the character to be named after his late pal and much-loved Barnsley man Robert, of Barugh Lane, Barugh Green, who died unexpectedly of heart muscle disease cardiomyopathy in November 2010.

Dougie has now agreed to include both their names in his next novel.

Robert’s sister Sarah O’Mara and her husband James, both 30, organised the night at Barugh Green Club and sold over 250 tickets.

It raised £8,386 for the CMA Robert Cooper Tribute Fund in aid of the Cardiomyopathy Association, which supports families affected.

Robert’s parents Sue and John paid thanked the community.

Brian Jackson, father of Robert’s girlfriend Amyleigh, added: “It was emotional to see so many people supporting the night.”

Special guest was Mike Tyson’s former sparring partner and now movie hard man Big Joe Egan. He’s back in Barnsley tonight with Cass Pennant, the reformed notorious West Ham ICF football hard man, whose life story was told in the film Cass.

They are guest speakers at a dinner evening at Brooklands Hotel, Dodworth, Barnsley, from 7pm to midnight. Tickets are £25 and VIP £50, in advance only on 07414 745 807.