TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Bury councillor who died last week. aged 71.

Keith Rothwell served as the Labour councillor for Moorside ward between 2004 and 2015, and was a member of the party for more than 40 years. 

After growing up in Bury, he worked as a regional manager for the NHS across Greater Manchester until taking early retirement.

Mr Rothwell was born partially sighted, but became fully blind after losing his eyesight over a number of years.

In addition to his work on the council, he was also an active member of Bury Blind Society, the Mosses Centre, Communic8te Bury, Bury Radio Society and Bury Gateway.

He was also a governor at St Paul’s C of E Primary School, in Porritt Street.

During his lifetime, Mr Rothwell suffered from diabetes, which led to him eventually being diagnosed with kidney failure in 2013.

Following this, he had to undergo dialysis three times a week, and in June, he was admitted to Manchester Infirmary for a kidney transplant.

He died on Friday. There were not believed to be any complications with the transplant.

Paying tribute to Mr Rothwell, his close friend Ruth Yasmeen described him as ‘one of a kind’.

She added: “Keith was my guru and mentor. I was like a daughter to him, we talked every day.

“He was a very generous man and would go out of his way to help anyone. Even now he wants all his belonging to go to charity.

“He had a disability, but he never let it stop him. 

“He wanted to bring people together from all different backgrounds.

“What he taught me was that it does not matter how rich or successful you are, your biggest wealth is your health and those closest to you. 

“Keith was a popular local character and he will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.”

The arrangements for Mr Rothwell's funeral have not yet been confirmed.

Any enquiries can be made to Tina at Fred Hamer Funeral Directors, Walmersley Road.