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Council tributes to "fantastic colleague"
A YORK council employee who was helping prepare the city for staging next year’s Tour de France has died after suffering a cardiac arrest while playing football.
Tributes have been paid to keen sportsman Graeme Hodgson, from Harrogate, who passed away suddenly last Monday evening. Senior officials at City of York Council say the authority is now mourning his loss as they described him as “a fantastic colleague”.
Father-of-two Mr Hodgson, who was in his 50s and married to Elaine, had been working with the council’s culture, sports and events teams, with the majority of his duties centred around high-profile events.
They included this year’s National Circuit Cycle Championships, the recent Sky Ride York and the Tour de France’s opening stages, Le Grand Depart, the second day of which will start in York next July.
The council said Mr Hodgson’s role in the team was due to his “extensive experience in delivering very high-profile and complex events”.
He had worked with the authority’s i-Travel York initiative and Festival of Cycling from outside the council for several years, and had been working with its events team since last summer’s Olympic Torch relay events in the city.
“It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of Graeme Hodgson, from the events team, on Monday,” said Sally Burns, the council’s director of communities and neighbourhoods.
“Graeme was a fantastic colleague who, in a very short space of time, had become a big part of the team. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time and our priority is to support them in any way we can.”
Following the news of Mr Hodgson’s death, Kersten England, the council’s chief executive, said the “City of York family is in shock” and described him as “a fantastic colleague”.