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Layout 1MERSEYSIDE has lost a true champion for charities, the arts, and the underprivileged.

Edward Murphy OBE, director of Merseyside Network for Change, was renowned for his work in the voluntary sector.

Edward, 64, was chief executive of Liverpool Council of Social Service for 16 years before setting up Merseyside Network for Change (MNfC) with its mission to stand beside the poor.

Always active in Liverpool’s regeneration, he served as chair of both Liverpool City Challenge and Kensington New Deal for Communities and played a leading role in the New Deal for the Unemployed and Employment Zone initiatives.

For a decade Edward led the EU’s £500m Pathways to Integration programme of community development for economic development in Merseyside.

An expert and teacher in charity governance, he served scores of charities – including helping to set up the All Together Now charity – and was chair of the trustees of the Black-E, Britain’s leading Community Arts Centre, and of Merseyside Refugee Support Network.

In 2004 he received an OBE for his services to regeneration.

Mandy Moloney, who helped Edward to set up MNfC, said: “It’s the end of an era. Edward made such a massive contribution to Liverpool’s voluntary sector. His presence, wit and intellect will be sorely missed by the countless people he helped and all the very many lives he touched over the decades.”

Former Everton FC winger Ronnie Goodlass said: “Eddie was a giant in Liverpool’s voluntary sector and helped so many people for a number of years. He was instrumental in making Health Through Sport into a charity and he gave me lots of help and guidance.”

Edward died on October 8. His funeral takes place on Friday October 21 at Springwood Crematorium, Allerton, Liverpool, 2.30pm