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THE life of a man who inspired hundreds of young people will be celebrated at a special get-together.

For more than 20 years, during the 60s to the 80s, Ken Stokes helped run Ellesmere Port Boys Club and later the Oasis Club, encouraging many young people to realise their dreams.

Ken, who worked as an electrician for most of his life for Manweb, died in October, aged 66. in Spain, where he had lived for the past few years.

In 1974 Ken was a member of the club four-man team’s road trip to Everest, which ended tragically on a roadside in Iran. As the 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 former Ellesmere Pioneer reporter (now editor of All Together NOW!) Tom Dowling, leaving him paralysed from the chest.

The two other 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. When I joined the town’s weekly newspaper at 16, I spent most of my time writing about his heroic adventures!

“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 on Friday evening (November 10) at The Orchard, Chester Road, Whitby, Ellesmere Port (7.30pm).