THE widow of Oliver Worsley – who died earlier this week after years of suffering from Huntington’s Disease – has revealed that his brain is to be used for research into the illness.

Penelope Worsley, of Heslington, near York, said Oliver, pictured, who struggled in his final years with the lack of independence and the difficulties caused by the devastating disease, had felt very strongly that more research was needed.

“His family decided 24 hours before he died that his brain would be sent to the Brain Bank in London to be used for research into Huntington’s Disease,” she said.

Mrs Worsley said her husband was “known as a true gentleman”. She said: “He was a man who made friends wherever he went; a man who always treated others as if they were special, with a wry sense of humour and a kind and friendly word to all those around him.”

She said he belonged to one of Yorkshire’s “better-known landed families”, growing up at Hovingham Hall with his brothers, Marcus and John, and sister Katherine, who later became the Duchess of Kent.

After going to Eton, he joined the 60th Rifles and was sent to Italy for the last few months of the Second World War.

He farmed at Great Givendale, near Pocklington, and Bishop Wilton, was president of Seaton Ross show for many years and hunted with the Sinnington Hunt and Middleton Hunt. The couple had four children, Georgina, David, Richard and Anne. “He became a director of the Theatre Royal in York, was on the board of Opera North, a director of Tyne Tees Television and Granada Television,” Mrs Worsley said. “He became a patron of the Yorkshire Bach Choir. He took a life long interest in the York City Art Gallery and was president of the Friends for many years.”

She said he set up and ran the Grape Lane Art Gallery, where local artists had the opportunity to show their work.

She said a thanksgiving service would be held at All Saints Church in Hovingham at 2.30pm on Monday, December 13, and all were are welcome.