Posted: Fri 24th Jul 2020

Updated: Fri 24th Jul

Tributes to “caring” university student who refused to let cancer stop him achieving his dream of earning a degree for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jul 24th, 2020

Tributes have been paid to a university student who refused to let cancer stop him achieving his dream of earning a degree.

Martin McClure, from Connah’s Quay, died peacefully aged 44 at Nightingale House Hospice on July 8 after a two year battle with oesophageal cancer.

His father Ray told how much studying for a BSc (Hons) in Computer Games Development at Wrexham Glyndŵr University meant to Martin, after he was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome in his 30s.

“Martin was a caring person who wanted to be independent, but he struggled to come to terms with his Aspergers,” he said.

“When he was given the chance to restart his education, his studies gave him a purpose in life which was missing. He was especially close to his mum Diane.”

Martin was born in Ashington, Northumberland, educated in Chester and had lived in Deeside since starting work at after leaving school.

He was an avid fan of films, Formula One, video games and Dr Who, attending many conventions for fans of the hit show.

Martin was diagnosed with cancer in June 2018, but he continued his studies while undergoing treatment. Mr McClure said that university staff supported and encouraged Martin throughout his studies.

“Pursuing the degree meant everything to Martin – it became his life’s goal and ambition. He enjoyed the challenges each assignment presented, and derived great satisfaction from learning something new,” he said.

Martin received his BSc certificate on July 3 while at Nightingale House.

“Martin was delighted, over the moon. The hospice hung his degree on the wall so he could view it from his bed”, Mr McClure said.

“Family, friends and neighbours flooded the hospice with congratulations cards. The volume of cards received amazed Martin.”

One of the many messages of  support came from the actor Sylvester McCoy, Martin’s favourite incarnation of Doctor Who.

Martin was also supported throughout his chemo therapy and radiotherapy treatment by his mother Diane and brother Calvin.

Richard Hebblewhite, Senior Lecturer in Computing at Wrexham Glyndŵr University, said: “Martin was an avid fan of games and technology, and enjoyed spending time with us in the classroom and at our various events. He will be missed by all of us here in the games community and it was a pleasure to see him receive his degree after all his hard work.”

Martin’s life was celebrated yesterday in a private service at Flintshire Memorial Park and Crematorium. Donations, if desired, can be made to Chester Zoo in memory of Martin.

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