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Brother of PC David Rathband pays tribute to fundraiser

SHOT PC David Rathband’s family last night paid tribute to the film director, restaurant critic and fundraiser Michael Winner.

SHOT PC David Rathband’s family last night paid tribute to the film director, restaurant critic and fundraiser Michael Winner.

Mr Winner died on Monday at his home in Kensington, London, after an illness.

The 77-year-old was a staunch supporter of the police and set up the Police Memorial Trust to honour offers killed on duty.

Last year, he proposed a permanent memorial be made for Northumbria policeman David, 44, who later took his own life after being shot and blinded by gunman Raoul Moat.

A “portrait bench” which features PC Rathband was opened in Ridley Park, Blyth.

In 2008, Mr Winner opened a memorial to Bellingham-based PC Joe Carroll who was killed in a crash while transporting a prisoner on the A69.

Today, Darren Rathband, David's twin brother, said: “Michael Winner has done more for the fallen officers than their management or the Government. Mr Winner leaves a family as so many officers have done. He will not be forgotten by the families of the slain or fallen. Rest in peace.”

Former Lindisfarne manager Barry McKay also paid tribute to Mr Winner, who he counted among his personal friends.

He said: “Michael was one of the most interesting, brilliant and entertaining people I have ever met in the entertainment world. His social events were always packed out with his celebrity friends and you could tell by the way they interacted that they absolutely loved him.

“I think he was definitely a national treasure and he was a much loved man. I know his friends will be devastated and my thoughts go out to his wife.”

In a film career which spanned more than 50 years, Winner worked with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood. He later reinvented himself as a restaurant critic, writing the Winner’s Dinners column for The Sunday Times. His appearance in adverts for motor insurance coined the catchphrase “Calm down dear, it’s a commercial”.

 

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