A FORMER Mayor of Rotherham and long-serving Labour councillor has died aged 79.
Reg Littleboy (pictured) was a member of Rotherham Borough Council from 1988 to 2011 and Mayor of Rotherham from 2001 to 2002.
He was also a former member and chairman of Treeton Parish Council and more latterly the election agent for Rotherham MP Sarah Champion.
Ms Champion led the tributes last night after his death was announced on social media by his daughter Karen, saying: “Reg was a thoroughly decent and kind man.
“Rotherham through and through, nothing could surpass his pride at being the town's Mayor.
“On a personal level, he gave me support and guidance, especially when I was rookie MP.
“He had a deep commitment to the Labour Party and was generous in sharing his knowledge.
“As he was my first election agent, it became something of a lucky charm for me to go and seek his advice at the start of each campaign.
“I will miss him deeply, as will all who knew him.”
Mr Littleboy said on retiring from the council that he would continue to be an activist in his community, adding: “I may have retired but I haven't gone away.”
Thrybergh campaigner and prospective council candidate Michael Sylvester Tweeted: “Oh no. One of the kindest men, even after combat in the chamber, and a man absolutely committed to his community.”
Treeton Parish Council said in a statement: “It is with great sadness that the parish council has learned of the passing of former parish councillor and chairman Reg Littleboy.
“Reg who served the parish council for many years was also a Borough Councillor, representing Brinsworth, Catcliffe and Treeton on Rotherham Borough Council from 1988 to 2011 and also served a term as Lord Mayor of Rotherham from 2001 to 2002.
“The parish council sends it condolenses to Reg's wife and family at this sad time.”
Wath councillor Alan Atkin called him “A little man with a big heart” while former Labour colleague and 2018-19 mayor Cllr Alan Buckley said: “I wouldn't be where I am now if not for Reg, thanks buddy, RIP.”
Ex-MP Sir Kevin Barron said it was “very sad news” and Cllr Emma Hoddinott hailed Mr Littleboy as “a real stalwart of the local party, who will be missed”.
During his time in office, then-Cllr Littleboy was the subject of one of the more ironic front-page stories in the Advertiser.
He had been attending a meeting at the Holiday Inn in Canklow in 2007 as vice-chairman of the regional police authority when he emerged to find the alloy wheels of his Nissan Micra had been stolen.
The irony of the situation was not lost on the councillor, who said: “Of course, I reported it to the police and had a lot of assistance from them.”
He added: “The thieves must've been lucky to find four alloy wheels on a Nissan Micra in the car park as they had the choice of BMWs or Audis, but they chose mine.
“I can be philosophical about it now but it was annoying at the time.”
Mr Littleboy’s funeral will be held at Rotherham Crematorium at 11am on Friday, March 20, followed by a reception at Phoenix Sports & Social Club in Brinsworth.