THE life of an Ellesmere Port man who inspired hundreds of young people will be celebrated at a special get-together on Friday (November 10).

For more than 20 years, from the 1960s to the 1980s, Ken Stokes helped run the town’s boys club and, later, the Oasis youth club on Coronation Road, encouraging and helping many young people to realise their dreams.

Ken, who worked as an electrician for most of his life for Manweb, died in October, aged 67, in Spain, where he had lived for the past few years.

In 1974, Ken was a member of the boys club's road trip to Everest, which ended in shocking circumstances on a roadside in Iran. As the four-man team slept in their minibus, they were attacked by armed robbers. 

Ken was shot in the head, while another bullet severed the spinal cord of Tom Dowling, leaving him paralysed from the chest. The two other team members, Peter Cooper and Phil Wellings, had to drive the minibus back home while Ken and Tom were treated in hospital in Tehran and later in Liverpool.

Tom said: “Ken did so much for young people in Ellesmere Port. 

“We were lucky to spend four months together travelling all the way to Kathmandu.

“He was a great man, a gentleman in every sense, and rarely had a bad word to say about anyone – even the people who inflicted such terrible injuries on him. He will be sadly missed.”

His family extend an open invitation to the event at The Orchard, Chester Road, Whitby, Ellesmere Port (7.30pm).