Tributes pour in for former mayor and councillor Graham Clarke

spn pic toy' Children from Roberttown Junior and Infant School with their hop scotch design, (clockwise) Lucy Kellett, Hannah Tante, Toni-Marie Rotherham Shelton, Jessica Barrett, Hannah Bellfield, Maria Nawaz, Aimie Crodden and Sophie Purssell, with teacher Louise Johnson receiving a cheque from Councillor Graham Clarke (Chairman of West Yorkshire Trading Standards). (160712)
spn pic toy' Children from Roberttown Junior and Infant School with their hop scotch design, (clockwise) Lucy Kellett, Hannah Tante, Toni-Marie Rotherham Shelton, Jessica Barrett, Hannah Bellfield, Maria Nawaz, Aimie Crodden and Sophie Purssell, with teacher Louise Johnson receiving a cheque from Councillor Graham Clarke (Chairman of West Yorkshire Trading Standards). (160712)
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Tributes have been paid to former Mayor of Wakefield Graham Clarke who has died at the age of 81.

Mr Clarke, who represented Knottingley as a district councillor for 25 years, was elected as mayor in 1990.

He died on Wednesday, April 29.

Mr Clarke’s son John, 55, speaking on behalf of the family, said: “He was a fantastic dad. We had some really good times together and when I was a bit older we shared a lot of drinks together.”

Mr Clarke worked as a railway driver and a school liaison officer for British Rail before he became a councillor.

He served on Knottingley Urban District Council for five years before the reorganisation of councils in 1974.

Wakefield Council leader Peter Box said: “Graham was a loyal and long-serving councillor who will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

“He was a larger-than-life character whose good humour in the council chamber will be long remembered.

“His commitment to public service, not only for Knottingley, but for the whole of West Yorkshire, was a credit to him and will leave a lasting memory.

“Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this sad time.”