Spennymoor builder's final wish for memorial dominoes tournament comes true (From The Advertiser Series)
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Spennymoor builder's final wish for memorial dominoes tournament comes true
THE family of a popular builder, whose final wish was for a dominoes tournament to be held on the anniversary of his death, say he would have been proud the event was such a success.
James Cockburn, known in his hometown of Spennymoor as Shamy, died last February, following a two year battle with cancer.
In his final weeks, the 57-year-old grandfather bought a large trophy and asked his family to arrange a dominoes tournament every year to raise funds for the Mara unit at Bishop Auckland Hospital, where he was treated.
The first contest took place after the funeral, with mourners donning football shirts at the request of Mr Cockburn – an avid Newcastle United supporter.
And yesterday (Saturday, February 9) more than 100 family members and friends from across the country attended the first anniversary tournament at Spennymoor Working Men's Club.
It was an exciting competition but, in the end, it was Mr Cockburn’s widow Maureen who was crowned winner.
The couple’s daughter Laura Birkin, who organised the event with her mother and three sisters, Sarah, Julie and Nicola, said Mr Cockburn would have been thrilled at the turnout.
“He would have been so proud of us all, especially with mum for winning,” she said.
“He loved dominoes and he would be really happy to know everyone had come out to have a drink and a game together.”
As well as the game itself, the family also organised a buffet, live band, raffle and quiz.
Donations are still coming in but, on the last count, the family had raised more than £600.
“We are really pleased as we never expected to raise so much money,” said Mrs Birkin.
“We would like to thank everyone who came and everyone who donated raffle prizes or made a donation.”
Mr Cockburn was well known and well liked in Spennymoor, working as a builder and then a site manager.
He spent every Sunday playing dominoes at the workingmen's club, in King Street, and also enjoyed going to horse races.