THE family of a popular businessman and community champion have paid a tribute to him following his sudden death.

Eugene Rafferty, 50, who was a popular man across Bury and beyond, passed away on Sunday following a heart attack.

Known for his kindness and generosity, Eugene was one of three brothers and was part of the Rakem Group business, based in Wellington Street, he was the managing director of Cemkem and was known for his knowledge and expertise within the cementous industry across the world.

His devastated wife of 20 years, Clare Rafferty said that her husband will be missed for many reasons.

Clare said: “It is such a big shock because he was fit and well and we have received so many messages of condolence it has been overwhelming.

“Eugene was a popular man, he had friends and business contacts from across the world. He was successful because of his great personality.”

The father-of-two leaves behind his son Joseph, 20 and daughter, Rosie, 17 and his large family.

Clare said that Eugene was the cub leader at St Anne’s in Tottington for several years, part of the north Manchester Classic Mini Club and had a passion for cars.

Eugene was a massive Manchester United supporter and had a passion for helping the homeless.

He was also proud of his Irish roots and loved his music and to dance.
Clare added: “Eugene was funny and always loved to party, he was a smiley fella and everyone who knew him said that he was a lovely chap.”

Eugene’s funeral will take place on Wednesday, September 16 at 11am.

The funeral will be held at St Osmund’s church in Bolton, which will also be streamed online for friends to view via Unsworth’s Funeral Directors, Bury.

Clare has requested family flowers only but people can make a donation in Eugene’s memory to A Bed Every Night, Greater Manchester’s homeless charity.

She said: “It would be wonderful for any donations to be made to the homeless charity, he would have liked that.”

Eugene, late son of Frank, also leaves behind his mother Mary and two brothers Kevin and Kieran.

Kieran said: “Eugene was a colossus in the cement world and was known worldwide. We have had many messages from as far as Finland, Italy, China and the USA. Those at Rakem have lost a colleague, friend and brother. He will be sorely missed.”