The wife of a long-serving former Blackpool police officer who never took a day off sick in his career today paid tribute to a “good and honourable” man.
Eric Bennett, 66, died on May 6 following a short illness after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
He joined Lancashire Police as a cadet aged 16, before serving as an officer for 40 years on the Fylde coast.
He stayed with the force as a civilian member of staff, moving to Blackburn before returning to Blackpool where he ran the communications room.
His widow, Yvonne, 66, said: “One of his superintendents said he was the salt of the earth. He was a really steadfast, good and honourable man.”
When he retired from the force to start his own computer business, Mr Bennett received a commendation for his exemplary attendance record.
“I never knew him to be ill – he never took a day off poorly in his career,” added Ms Bennett, his wife of 39 years. “It was a real shock to everybody when he was struck down with cancer.”
She also praised the staff at Trinity Hospice, where he spent his final days.
She added: “I always vowed I would be with him when he took his last breath – and I was.”
Mr Bennett was also a keen musician and played percussion with the Lancashire Constabulary Band and local groups Loose Chippings and Penny Black.
The funeral will be at Poulton Methodist Church on May 22 at 1.15pm.