Long-serving Sheffield councillor dies after being admitted to hospital with coronavirus

One Sheffield's most long standing and much loved councillors has died after being admitted to hospital with coronavirus.

By Lucy Ashton, Local Democracy Reporter
Sunday, 29th March 2020, 5:05 pm
Updated Sunday, 29th March 2020, 5:39 pm

Pat Midgley, a Labour councillor for 33 years, was taken to hospital earlier this week and received oxygen but sadly passed away on Sunday, March 29.

Her death has shocked and devastated all those who knew her. Council Leader Julie Dore, her lifelong friend and political colleague, was overcome.

She said: "I am heartbroken, it's just so awful and I can't find the words. It is so tragic and sad. This makes coronavirus all the more real, please keep safe and take comfort from your family and friends."

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Councillor Pat Midgley has died after being admitted to hospital with the coronavirus. She is one of Sheffield's longest-serving councillors, after first being elected in 1987

Sophie Wills, Pat's great niece, also paid tribute: "They say Sheffield women are made of steel and my Auntie Pat was the true, unflinching embodiment of that phrase.

"When she became poorly, we all said if anyone could beat it, it was her. She was tough as, as anyone who ever had the pleasure of meeting her, will well know.

"But devastatingly, although she fought with her usual dignity, courage and style right until the end, our beloved wife, mum, sister, grandmother, auntie and dear friend did not make it.

"Pat was widely known and respected across Sheffield, both on a political and personal level, and we know that many people will be as heartbroken as we are at the news of her death.

Pat Midgley pictured in 1986

"Pat's first thought was for anyone but herself, and as she was strong, loving and brave- so will we be.

"We would like to thank everyone for their kind words and messages of support as we attempt to get our head round the sudden passing of this irreplaceable lady."

Pat was elected in 1987 for Nether Edge and represented it for eight years before moving to Manor ward.

She had a lifelong passion for improving education and was a school governor for more than 50 years. A former Lord Mayor, she also served as a magistrate. Last year she won a Woman of Sheffield award hosted by The Star.

She had already decided not to re-stand as a councillor in the next local elections and gave a modest interview a couple of months ago.

In it, she said: "We know when we come in as councillors there’s no time to plan for retirement and you can be out in one day. Most people have time to prepare if they leave a job. In politics, your life can be taken away in one day.

“Planning for the future never even occurs to you. When you retire, you’ll still be involved in politics and community issues, you just turn over the page.”

She leaves a husband Don, brother Tony, children Joanna, Neil and Jamie and grandchildren Harriet, Lucy, Jude, Theo and Madeline.