A FATHER of one died of cancer just two days after holding a farewell party in his local pub for friends and family.
Brave Simon Blyth, 42, stood up from his wheelchair during the party to give a final speech, telling guests: “No more tears.”
The shop worker from Tranent, East Lothian, had been diagnosed with untreatable renal cancer just three weeks earlier.
Following the farewell party at the New Plough Inn in the town on Saturday, Simon, died on Monday in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
Simon’s cancer was diagnosed after he complained about a sore hip. Surgeons found an inoperable tumour and gave him the news there was nothing more they could do.
Despite the shocking diagnosis, Simon remained strong in the face of adversity and arranged his own funeral.
On Saturday he arranged to leave hospital for a the afternoon to go to the New Plough.
His cousin, Lauren Blyth, who was at the final get-together said that Simon remained “defiant” right up to his final moments.
She said: “There was sombre mood about the place but Simon didn’t want that.
“He managed to get up out of his wheelchair at the end of the day to thank everyone for coming and telling people to cherish their memories of him just as he cherishes his.
“He was defiant. He kept telling us, ‘no more tears’ even in his final moments by his bed side when we were all there.
She continued: “His personality really shone through.
“He wanted one last bet on the horses and the football and even joked that he wanted one last pint but obviously he had to stick to the juices.”
The keen sportsman loved darts and bowling at his local Tranent Bowling Club, where he was a former club champion.
A friend of Simon’s from the bowling club echoed Lauren’s sentiments and said he was still “his usual chirpy self” at the pub.
He said: “The pub was absolutely rammed. He was his usual chirpy self and enjoyed a wind up.
“He arranged the night to see all his pals from the bowling and darts.
“He was very big on the darts and raised a lot for Help for Heroes last year when he did a 24-hour dart-a-thon.”
Simon had taken care of all his funeral plans by himself and asked his cousin, Lauren, to sing for his family and friends.
She said: “He asked me to sing at the funeral when he was in hospital.
“I took him in the recording and he told me that he thought it was ‘beautiful’.
“I’ve recorded a version of ‘The Rose’ by Bette Midler to be played, and his wife, Lynette asked me to do ‘Angels’ by Robbie Williams for when we go in and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ as we leave, in tribute to his beloved Liverpool.”
Simon lived with his parents Gordon and Lilian, his wife Lynette and his 14-year-old son Rhys.
The local Ladbrokes bookmakers donated nine tickets to the Musselburgh races this Monday which were raffled off and the £260 proceeds given to his family.