Tributes have been paid to 57-year-old Selhurst Labour councillor Gerry Ryan, who lost his battle with cancer yesterday.
Ryan had served the ward for more than 20 years and was re-elected last May. The Selhurst councillor leaves behind his wife and two sons.
During the Croydon Central campaign election at the 2010 General Election, Ryan was Gavin Barwell’s opponent, losing out by 3,000 votes.
Politicians from both sides of the political spectrum have taken to Twitter to pay tributes to their former colleague. Croydon Council posted the following tweet on Sunday:
With great sadness we announce the passing of one of our finest Cllr Gerry Ryan RIP Our thoughts are with his family pic.twitter.com/VGGkV0I4EW
— Croydon Labour Party (@CroydonLabour) January 18, 2015
Ryan was also known within the community for being a great Crystal Palace fan.
Crystal Palace Supporters’ Trust said: “CPST is greatly saddened by the news that Gerry Ryan died yesterday, aged 57. Gerry was a leading figure in Croydon politics having been Selhurst Councillor for two decades and standing for Parliament on two occasions”.
“He was a passionate Palace fan and Trust member, always willing to give up his time to support Trust activities”.
Chairman Alan Palmer also said: “I got to know Gerry well over many years. He was a passionate Palace fan and also gave CPST great support over the years. He was incredibly resolute and determined, typified by the way he fought his illness”.