Rick Sumner 1933 – 2021
Rick Sumner passed away peacefully at home on Saturday while watching his beloved Manchester City contest the FA Cup semi-final.
Rick was, for several years a miner at Shuttle Eye Colliery in West Yorkshire but also worked variously as a trawlerman fishing in the icy waters of the North Atlantic, as a scaffolder and steel erector on some of Manchester's biggest construction sites, being a key mover behind the Building Workers' Charter, and, later, as a community and grass roots advice worker in Manchester's Moss Side.
His life, throughout, was that of a principled working class militant, trade unionist and dedicated fighter for socialism and workers' democracy. He did not disdain politics and for a period joined the International Socialists.
Immediately after the end of the Great Strike of 1984/85, he and his lifelong comrade and inseparable partner, Christine, saw the need to work energetically to support the more than a thousand striking miners victimised by the National Coal Board.
Rick and Chris, before her death after a long battle against cancer, retired to live by the sea on the Yorkshire coast, close to family members, but never lost contact with comrades and friends, always bidding them a warm welcome. In the circumstances of his retirement, he was able to devote more time to following Manchester City and to working hard to support the local lifeboat service.