‘He was loved and would help anyone’

David Barrie Sleight
David Barrie Sleight

The FAMILY of a devoted father who died following a long battle with cancer said “he will leave a big gap in a lot of people’s lives”.

John ‘Dobber’ Sleight, 44, passed away at Bassetlaw Hospital on Saturday 11th December after he was diagnosed with a rare form of the illness in August 2009.

His father Barrie said the time they shared went by too fast.

“He was loved and very well liked, no-one had got a bad word to say about him,” he added. “He would help anyone.”

“He thought he was getting better but it was his liver shutting down.”

“They took 22 pints and 40 plus litres off him when he first went in.”

“We kept saying to him we were going to take him down to the pregnancy ward, which would make him laugh.”

John was buried at Hannah Park Cemetery following a service at Worksop’s Priory Church on Tuesday 21st December. Barrie said he loved his two sons, Daniel, 14, and Cullen, 12, “more than anything in the world”.

“When I walked into the church I turned round to one of my mates and I said ‘I’m scared to death’.”

“It was as though they had been stacked in the church, I’ve never seen a church so full, there were even people outside,” he added.

John attended schools in Germany before moving to Worksop where he stayed for 37 years. He went on to work in construction for the Highways Department at Notts County Council for 17 years before taking up a post as a warehouse operative at Wilkinsons. He also helped to set up local football team Manton Spitfires for youngsters in the area.

“It kept them off the streets, he got a lot of sponsorship and for some unknown reason he was a qualified referee,” Barrie said.

“Before he went, he turned round to all his mates and said ‘I’m coming back to haunt you, not in a bad way but in a good way. If you feel your feet itching, that’s me’.”

John’s sister-in-law Jene said his personality would rub-off on others around him: “He had a big heart and if there was anything he could do to help you he would.”

“He got on well with people and people liked him and he adored his kids. He will leave a big gap in a lot of people’s lives.”

Jene added that he was close to his brother Jason, who John saw before he passed away.

The family wanted to thank everyone who donated towards his sons’ trust fund, his friends at Wilkinsons and the governor and staff at Ranby Prison.