Tributes paid to golfer who raised thousands for cancer charity

Paul Barker raised money for charity through his golf day events.

Paul Barker raised money for charity through his golf day events. - Credit: Archant

Tributes have paid to former St Ives man Paul Barker who was instrumental in raising £26,000 for a cancer research charity.

Mr Barker, aged 49, died at his home, in Suffolk, on September 4 after a seven-year battle with a largely unknown cancer where the original source of the disease is never discovered.

Cancer of unknown primary (CUP) is the eighth most common cancer for women and the thirteenth most common for men and it affects about 10,000 people in the UK each year.

CUP accounts for three-four per cent of all cancer diagnoses and makes treatment options more complicated for the patient.

Paul, a keen golfer, who worked for the NHS as a data analyst and later in the finance department at Ipswich Hospital, organised five charity golf days at Lakeside Lodge, in Pidley, as well as coffee mornings. lunches and other events for the CUP Foundation.

He was not well enough to take part in this year’s golf day in April as he was undergoing radiotherapy, but Paul’s family and friends hope to hold an event next year in his memory.

His funeral took place on September 15 at the Sacred Heart Church, in St Ives, where his family, friends, work colleagues and health professionals described him as a “genuine and a true friend” who had a “ready, cheeky smile”.

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“His humorous, ready, deep laugh, along with his love of socialising, all combined to make him a popular, very well liked person who will be deeply missed by many,” read his eulogy.

Work colleagues said he was “easy-going and friendly, with a hard-working nature and was always willing to listen to people and find solutions for problems.”

Paul was first diagnosed with cancer in 2010, at the age of 42, after he mentioned a swelling in his neck to his GP. Despite a series of scans and tests, his original cancer was never discovered and Paul underwent a “a radical neck dissection” to remove infected lymph nodes.

The cancer returned in 2013 and then again last year and Paul dealt with gruelling treatment and side effects with “courage, resilience and humour”.

His family say he was aware that the treatment could only hold the disease at bay and not cure it, but he wanted to let people know about this relatively unknown genre of cancer through his fundraising.

Paul leaves his mother Elizabeth and father, the late Gerry. A memorial service is being held in the chapel at Ipswich Hospital on Friday at 3pm

INFORMATION: Donations can still be made to Paul’s fundraising page for the Cup Foundation at: