A POPULAR former mayor has died, aged 86.

Derek Young served as Mayor of Durham in 1998-99.

Mr Young, of Coxhoe, died peacefully on Thursday, March 27, following a short illness. He was 86.

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Born and raised in Coxhoe, Mr Young left aged 14 to work in the spinning mills of Rochdale.

He returned to the North-East a few years later and in 1947 joined the Royal Army Service Corps, beginning 18 years in the forces which saw him rise to the rank of Company Sergeant Major.

Later, he worked on a farm and as a joiner for Durham City Council.

He became a city councillor in 1995.

During his year as mayor, he raised £24,000 for the Shopmobility scheme at the Prince Bishops shopping centre, including by walking from Coxhoe to Durham Town Hall just weeks after he underwent major surgery.

A keen charity fundraiser, he also agreed to be “kidnapped” and “held hostage” in a shop window for Comic Relief.

Mr Young, who survived his wife Margaret, was a dear father, father-in-law, grandfather and great-grandfather.

His funeral will be held at St Mary’s Church, Coxhoe, on Monday (April 7) at 9.15am, followed by cremation at Durham Crematorium. Family flowers only are requested.

The current Deputy Mayor of Durham, Councillor Jan Blakey, is scheduled to attend.