FORMER High Sheriff of Cheshire Nick Hopkinson has died aged 61.
His death was announced on social media yesterday and heartfelt tributes have been left from friends and organisations which he worked with.
The announcement on his ‘Hoppy Man’ Facebook page, as he was known to many, read: “At 2am today Hoppy left us, far, far too soon.
“Hoppy will never truly die. His legacy will live on in all that knew him.”
The dad of three, who lived in Great Budworth, described himself as a philanthropist and fundraiser as well as a ‘survivor of cancer’ after he was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2018.
The Steve Morgan Foundation, which support projects in Cheshire, North Wales and Merseyside, paid tribute to ‘Hoppy’ on its website.
Steve Morgan said: “It’s absolutely devastating news, we’ve lost a true friend.
“Our deepest sympathies go out to his wife Lesley, his children and his family.”
Sally Morgan also recalled: “I first met Nick in a village pub in Great Budworth about 18 years ago and we became good friends.
“He was kind-hearted, energetic and the best charity auctioneer I have ever seen.
“He once raised £1m for disadvantaged children in one night – no one else would be capable of motivating me to bid for a prize my own husband had donated.”
Dave Thompson from Warrington Disability Partnership, of which the former High Sheriff was a patron, posted: “Nick was a true inspiration, with an amazing passion to help others, especially young people.
“His amazing ability to pull people together to support a cause was simply incredible.
“He supported many of our projects at Warrington Disability Partnership where he was a patron.
“When Nick was the High Sheriff of Cheshire (2020/21), even Covid-19 couldn’t stop Nick from raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for needy causes.
“His legacy will on, and he will never be forgotten by the tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people, who were touched by his efforts.”
An entrepreneur who had run his own businesses since 1984, Nick had been heavily involved with fundraising for organisations that help young people for many years.
He raised millions of pounds for Bolton Lads and Girls club to build a state-of-the-art youth club which went on to become the blueprint for the OnSide Youth Zones organisation – which includes a site in Warrington.