In Loving Memory of

Ian remebrance book

Ian Spafford

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow,

Learn as if you were to live forever.”

                                                           Mahatma Gandhi


Ian died suddenly on the 9th February 2021 at the age of 72 due to heart problems.


He was a gregarious and larger than life character, a sociable man with a real sense of adventure and zest for life. The picture on the front of the book is of him arriving at his surprise 70th party and realising that over a 100 friends and family were there. He was thrilled and would have wanted a “wake“ to reflect that. We are hoping that once the current restrictions are over we will have a memorial for him.


Ian was a man who had touched a lot of lives and we were overwhelmed by the messages from friends, family and work colleagues, with a lot of people saying that they would have liked to pay their respects at his funeral.


COVID only allowed for 30 people to attend a socially distanced funeral and for it to be only half an hour long. We therefore had to adapt to the regulations in order to include as many people as possible who had memories of him. As the eulogy could only be 20 minutes long we have developed a long eulogy to include the memories of his friends and family which will accompany this online remembrance book. This has already been partially populated with the words and memories that a number of you have already sent to us for you to read and add to if you wish.


The funeral was also videoed, and this is shared with you along with a photo tribute that we feel captures some of Ian’s achievements and personality.


We hope that this in a small way gives Ian the farwell that he would have liked, and you a chance to think and speak about him, which you may have missed because of the current COVID situation.


Our thanks to you all for your kind words and sentiments, which we are truly touched by.


Resh, Syimah and Hassan 

Book Owner: Hassan Spafford
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William Michael Simmonds

Dear Resh, Siymah and Hassan,   I worked with Ian at Gateshead many years ago as a solicitor (1993-5). It was my first post qualification job and Ian was my boss. I have an afternoon off and ended up sorting out a box of papers that have been lugged from home to home over …


Helen McGrath

Ian Spafford was the type of individual every board needs amongst their ranks to be successful. A person who upholds governance and ethics; a person who scrutinises decisions, motivations and actions. A person unafraid to rock the boat in pursuit of all that is right and necessary. This is certainly my impression of Ian …


Vicky Yates

I only met Ian and Resh on a handful of ocasions, but from the very first meeting Ian left a lasting impression. He was a vibrant wonderful man, entertaining, knowledgeable and fun to spend time with. Ian, you left this life far to soon, it would have been amazing to spend more time with …


Roger Bowden

My memories of Ian are of his time as a member of the National Executive of the Law Society Local Government Group and then SLG.  Ian was a staunch and faithful representative for the Yorkshire & the Humber Branch – and woe betide anyone who said “Humberside”, and always ready to advance an alternative …


Natasha Mehay

Our dearest uncle,  We were so saddened and shocked to hear of your passing. I remember when were were children being so excited to come to your house because it was so much fun and we would always go on adventures. Thank you for being a fantastic uncle and for making my Aunty so …


John Hunter

We never met, Resh but you and your family are very much in my thoughts. Your eulogy is a lovely tribute to Ian and I know from my infrequent chats with him that he thought the world of you and the children. The last time I saw him was at the annual dinner of …


Deborah Widdop

Our friendship was all too brief Ian and that will always be a source of huge sadness for me. I will never forget you – your values, your humour, your sense of devilment, your intellect and the way you squeezed everything out of life. Life has an Ian sized whole in it right now. …


Mike Widdop

Debbie and i first met Ian on a wet mountain walk in Bansko in summer 2016, and stayed friends ever since. We’d moved to Bulgaria earlier that year and we were trying to soak up experiences when the opportunity presented itself. We booked ourselves on that guided walk and i’m so glad we did. …


Eileen Carr

I was so shocked and saddened at the news that Ian had died. I have known Ian from first working together at the GMC in 2006. We realised we had a shared interest – Bansko. Ian was an outgoing, warm and welcoming friend who had a great intellect and common sense approach to life. …

Eileen Carr

Jane Jefferson

Remembering a lovely gentleman..  Rest in peace Ian love & condolences to all your lovely family xxx …


Ranjana Bell

Ian….I have no words to say that can describe how I am feeling. I am in awe of the man you were. I miss those arguments we had round the kitchen table! You are with your pal George and I am sure having a good laugh over a pint…or two…love ya miss ya 💔❤❤❤ …





You were a good man who enjoyed life and your approach to life is something I always admired. You were funny and didn’t take life too seriously, but at the same time you were successful and kind. I hope I can live my life with the same spirit.    We had lots of special …



I found this really hard to write as I don’t show my feelings but as I was reflecting back on the times with my dad, I didn’t realise actually how close we was until now. As you will all know I was definitely not the easiest person to deal with (probably much has not …



Ian and I were together for 32 years. We were soulmates and equal partners. Ian’s sense of adventure and confidence in taking on what life had to offer him gave me the confidence to do things -take on new challenges and gave me a positive outlook on life which changed me.   We met …


Adrian ( and the Spawforths Team )

To Resh, My Heartfelt condolences to you the family, It was with great sadness that i heard from Rachel that Ian had passed away suddenly.  I have very fond memories of the time we spent together designing your house in Yeadon and of the many thousands of projects we have done over the years, …


Pete Bentley

When employed as a solicitor at both Gateshead and Sunderland Ian was the lead solicitor dealing with issues relating to childcare in particular adoption and fostering. At this time (the mid 80’s) Ian was the Secretary of the British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering ‘s North East Legal Group where he was very active …


Jane Brantom

I have to smile every time I think of Ian. We shared so many good times and adventures in the 1980s and he continued to be a really special friend. I loved his spontaneity, his energy, his ‘gung ho’/ ‘why not?’ approach to life – exasperating, yes, but his spirit certainly enriched my life …


Stewart Deas

I spent a bit of time sharing a flat in Gerald Street in Benwell with Ian, Alex & Val Matthews. Ian was never a great cook (at that time anyway) and his piece de resistance was the fish finger and brussels sprout sandwich, enhanced (?) by a liberal dollop of Hammonds Chop Sauce, a …


Lin Renusz

My memory is suspect. So, rather like Dylan Thomas [the nearest I’ll get] I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six. I’m sure Ian won’t mind. Living in Larkspur, Ian decided he …


Derek Bodell

Putting together memories of Ian turns out to be more of a challenge than I thought. Meeting in the mid 1970’s in Newcastle through a mutual friend I became aware of someone who packed a lot into the day. Apart from work there was theatre, concerts, legal groups, pub visits, seeing friends – often …


Friends from Hull Grammar School

60 years is a long time to know someone, and knowing someone as special as Ian for so long has been a honour for me and for his countless friends and associates over the years. Hull Grammar School was where four of us met Ian, John, Ian Walsh and myself and it was there …


Ian's Family

The world was hardly prepared for the arrival of Ian Spafford, in Hull on 2nd January 1949.  He was a larger-than-life character from the very beginning. His family gave him the confidence to be his own person and in return, Ian was fully committed to his family. Ian had a great love of all …


Chris, Dave, John, Amy and Beth


James and Marianne


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