Tributes to popular former police sergeant Bill Crittenden
TRIBUTES have been paid to former Bolton magistrate and police sergeant Bill Crittenden who has died after a 24-year battle with kidney disease.
Mr Crittenden, aged 65, of Tonge Moor, died in hospital on September 6 after a kidney transplant operation that could have saved his life failed.
He had suffered from Polycystic Kidney Disease since 1989, but in July, when he received a telehone call in the middle of the night to say a donor had been found, he and his wife Eleanor decided to risk the operation.
Just five days earlier, he had been sitting on the bench at Bolton Magistrates’ Court.
He had undergone a previous transplant some years ago, but still needed dialysis treatment which impaired hugely on his life after forcing him to leave the police force in 2004.
Mrs Crittenden said: “It was all so shocking and sudden at the end. Being on dialysis was so tiring for Bill that we both agreed that taking a risk to bring him off it was the best thing to do. He felt it would be a chance of a better life, It takes over your life, we did not go on holiday as he was on dialysis for four hours Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.”
Mr Crittenden worked for a year in the probation service after leaving the force and his wife said giving up was simply never an option for him.
She added: “When he was put on dialysis, he still wanted to be a use to society and chose to be a magistrate. Despite all the trials and tribulations he had to put up with, he faced life with determination and fortitude. I loved him greatly but I admired that he never once said to me that he’d had enough. He was honest, kind and to the point.
“The messages of condolence have said how straight he was and that people knew where they stood with Bill.
“He thought life was special and, no matter what, he was never going to give up on it.”
Before that he had been in the RAF. He met his wife, a teacher, while stationed in Plymouth. He was originally from Kent and supported Chelsea FC and Kent CCC, but he and his wife moved to Bolton to be near to Mrs Crittenden’s family, who lived in Leigh.
An inquest into Mr Crittenden’s death is due to be held at Manchester Coroners Court in December.
His funeral took place yesterday at Overdale East Chapel.
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