Mourners to Thornberry Animal Sanctuary founder urged to wear yellow

THE family of animal sanctuary founder Steve Bamford have asked people to wear yellow at his funeral.

Steve (60), who set up Thornberry Animal Sanctuary in 1988, is understood to have died in an accident in the Tibshelf area of Derbyshire, where he lived, last Tuesday.

Sanctuary trustees said he had helped to rescue and rehome thousands of animals and “his legacy is still running 30 years on”.

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Funeral director JR Hoult and Grandson said in a statement: “Stephen has lived in Tibshelf for 12 years. 

“He lived at Meadow View Stables running a livery and shop from his home address.

“His hobbies and interests have always been horses and animals.”

“The funeral for Stephen will be held at Rotherham Crematorium (East Herringthorpe) on Monday 11th at 2.45pm.

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“The family have requested that donations are given in lieu of flowers and that friends and family attending the funeral should not wear black clothing but should where bright colours and where possible wear yellow.”

Facebook users and Thornberry supporters flocked to pay their respects to the charity founder.

Jax Hopkinson said: “Steve had the biggest heart and made all the difference to so many animals' lives. 

“His legacy lives on in the good work still being done. R.I.P. Steve.”

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Carol Morton called him “a great man, who took on such a huge challenge and commitment, at the time when strays were collected by the police and put down”.

Karen Lamb said: “Such sad news. A lovely man who I’m sure will be sadly missed by many many people. 

“Thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”

Laura Paramore called Mr Bamford “a great man who cared about animals” while Katie Haywood said he was “a fantastic compassionate guy”.

Mr Bamford left the sanctuary after almost 20 years in 2007 amid claims of bullying and intimidation and criticism over his management.

But he was later paid compensation after the sanctuary admitted unfairly sacking him.

At the time, the sanctuary called him “a tireless advocate for animal welfare”.