Appeal for memorial to hero gathers pace


A KIND-HEARTED businessman has offered to donate £5,000 towards possible plans for a town memorial of Chesterfield hero Cec Thompson.

Entrepreneur Raymond Griffiths was so saddened to learn the former Chesterfield Grammar School teacher and international rugby player had died he has joined a growing number calling for a memorial in his name.

Mr Griffiths (42), of Chesterfield, said: “He believed anyone could make something of themselves no matter how bad their circumstances.

“A statue of Cec would be a great idea because he played an integral part in mine and others’ success and he was a great role model.

“He’s been a massive influence and his story was proof you can achieve against the odds and a statue would symbolise that spirit.”

Cec, who died last month aged 85, began life at an orphanage and forged a rugby league career as one of the first ever black players and became head of economics at Chesterfield Grammar.

Mr Griffiths, who runs a mail order business, said he would make a donation if others joined in fundraising and made donations towards something substantial.

Chesterfield Borough Council leader Cllr John Burrows said the council would consider ways it could help create a memorial of some kind.

He said: “It’s fantastic people feel this way and for someone to offer £5,000 is an example of the respect shown for Cec Thompson.

“I suggest interested people form a committee to consider what the outcome of any donations should be and at that stage we will consider options.”

Mr Griffiths has set up fundraising links, a blog site - and

Cec Thompson’s son Mark said: “It’s a massive honour to think there could be a memorial.”

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