Mick's fighting spirit lives on
TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Labour councillor and well-known campaigner.
Mick Williams, from Penkhull, died in hospital on Thursday after battling a lung condition for more than 18 months.
Friends and colleagues today described the former Burslem councillor as a 'stubborn and determined man'.
Historian Fred Hughes, from Burslem, said: "I knew Mick over many decades. We worked closely together as colleagues in the Labour party.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"I know that many of his former constituents will miss him dearly. He was an excellent public servant."
Mr Williams, who was in his late 70s, had attended Hanley High as a youngster.
He went on to gain an apprenticeship with the Post Office and enrolled at Staffordshire University to study telecoms engineering in 1950.
In the 1970s, he was elected onto Stoke-on-Trent City Council. Three years later, he enrolled on a politics course at Keele University after admitting he knew 'little about the job'.
Mr Williams championed many causes over the decades and had been a key member of the campaign group Democracy4Stoke, which he helped set up in 2002. It was aimed at fighting plans for an elected mayor in the city.
Fellow campaigner and former councillor Mike Barnes, from Longton, said: "I spoke to Mick only last week and I knew that he hadn't been well for quite some time. He had had problems with his breathing for more than a year."
Mr Barnes, who got to know him through Democracy4Stoke, added: "At first, Mick was a just a colleague. But in the end, he became a very close friend of mine.
"He was one of the people who I respected most in the city for his integrity and his determination. He always fought for what he believed in and he will be sorely missed."
Mr Williams hit the headlines in 2004 when he announced he was suing the Labour party after being barred from standing as an election candidate.
He also helped found anti-racism group, the North Staffordshire Campaign Against Racism and Fascism (NorSCARF), and served as vice-chairman of North Staffordshire Trades Union Congress (TUC).
Jason Hill, North Staffs TUC president and NorSCARF co-founder, said: "He was a friend and a colleague. He was a man of principle.
"Sometimes he would appear to be stubborn, but it was only because he had principles which he would not compromise."
Email your tributes to firstname.lastname@example.org