Michael Pye: Sadness as death of former Lord Mayor of Sheffield

The family of the former Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Michael Pye, has announced his death.
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Paying tribute to the former councillor, his family expressed sadness at his sudden death at home.

The family said: “Mike was born in the East End of London, although very proud of the fact he was a true cockney, having been born within the sound of the Bow Bells, after moving to Sheffield in 1980 with his wife and two daughters when Manpower Services Commission relocated to the Moorfoot Building he became a “Sheffielder by conviction”.

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Mr Pye was first elected as a councillor in 1984, initially representing Sharrow and then the Birley ward. He served on Sheffield City Council from 1984 to 2010 and remained active and committed to the local Labour Party taking a close interest in constituency affairs.

Former Sheffield Lord Mayor, Michael Pye, passed away at homeFormer Sheffield Lord Mayor, Michael Pye, passed away at home
Former Sheffield Lord Mayor, Michael Pye, passed away at home

As lead spokesperson on anti-apartheid issues, he steered through council policies on boycotting South African goods and barring artists who had performed in South Africa from Sheffield City Hall. He helped set up Local Authorities Against Apartheid (LAAA) and chaired its National Steering Committee from 1984 to 1994.

He made a major contribution to the local cultural scene as a trustee of Sheffield Theatres, Companion of the Guild of St George and Chair of Yorkshire Museums, Archives and Libraries.

He was chairman of Arts and Museums on the council from 1988 – 94, then chairman of Leisure Services and deputy chair of the Planning Committee.

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He also served on various boards of Sheffield Theatres including a period as chairman of the Crucible Theatre and Chairman of Yorkshire Museums, Archives and Libraries. He remained a member of the Lyceum Theatre board and a Trustee at The Hawley Collection at Kelham Island.

Mr Pye served in the Royal Air Force for a short time where he worked at the NATO Operations HQ. He was the chairman and president of The Sheffield Royal Air Forces Association.

In 2004 he became Sheffield’s 108th Lord Mayor, with his family describing it as “one of his proudest moments to represent the city he loved and was so proud to call home.”

It was also where he first started fundraising for Cavendish Cancer Centre, who he continued to support and he became a patron of the charity.

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His fundraising efforts included abseiling down a hotel in the centre of Sheffield, as well as birthday fundraising, bake sales and shaving his head.

His family added: “He will be sorely missed by his family and all that knew him.”