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Former photographer who won the pools dies at 86

A former regional press photographer who won the pools months after being made redundant has died at the age of 86.

Cliff King worked on weekly newspapers for more than 40 years, initially on the Ashton-under-Lyne Reporter, then on the Stockport Advertiser where he became chief photographer.

He was made redundant when the Advertiser merged with the Stockport Express in 1981 but a few months later he won £212,000 on the Littlewoods Pools.

Cliff died after a short illness on 27 May at the age of 86.

Former Advertiser colleague Andy Manning, now picture editor of the Yorkshire Evening Post, said: “Cliff was great fun to work with and he had a great personality.”

During his time in Stockport, he was also an activist with the National Union of Journalists during the 1970s and took part in the 1979 Provincial Newspapers’ Strike.

After winning big on the pools, he used the money to finance his love of travel and was able to journey to Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand for long periods.

He also freelanced for Headline News Agency in Manchester and the Manchester Evening News during the 1980s and 1990s.

Paul McVeigh, former co-director of Headline News Agency, said: “Cliff was a talented and highly respected photographer. His work, especially in colour photography before colour pictures were widely used in newspapers, was often outstanding.

“I first met Cliff when we were members of the same cycling club and later worked with him. He had what he called the ‘life force’ in bucket loads.

“One thing his friends and former colleagues will remember is that Cliff was careful with his money even after he won the pools. But he wasn’t mean or stingy, not a bit. He had a very generous spirit and wouldn’t hesitate to help a friend in need.”

Cliff never married and is survived by his older brother Syd, a former trumpeter with Manchester’s Halle Orchestra.

His funeral takes place on 10 June at Dukinfield Crematorium, Tameside, Greater Manchester at 1.30pm. For further details about the funeral arrangements, email Paul McVeigh at pmcveigh@crain.com.