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Funeral date for much-loved mum and grandmother who died in Cyprus hotel fire

A family has paid a heartfelt tribute to the Newmarket mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, who died in a hotel fire in Cyprus.

Seventy-one-year-old Patricia Hughes died on December 27 at the LA Hotel in the resort of Lapta. Her funeral service will be held at St Mary’s Church, in Newmarket, on Thursday, February 6, at noon.

Her daughter Sharon, who now lives in America, said the family was still looking for answers as to why their mother died. “We are waiting for investigations to be completed but now we are just glad to finally have her home,” she said.

Patricia Hughes, 71, died on December 27 at the LA Hotel in the resort of Lapta
Patricia Hughes, 71, died on December 27 at the LA Hotel in the resort of Lapta

“She was a wonderful mother and we had an idyllic childhood being brought up in Lincolnshire and then moving to Newmarket where my dad, John, worked in racing.

“As well as being a mum, she also had seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren who she doted on. They were the light in her life.”

Mrs Hughes also had three sons, Darren, Wayne, and Mark who had followed his father into racing and was a promising jockey and boxer before he died tragically in 1997 aged just 27. His daughter Siobhan now lives in Ireland and has three sons. “Mum has just got back from visiting them before she went on holiday,” said Sharon, “and they had enjoyed an early Christmas together. She was also an amazing aunt and great aunt and prided herself on never missing a birthday.”

Sharon also remembered how her mother had been a talented dancer and had once run her own dance school in Spalding after being classically trained at a dance school in Croydon.

“I still have mum’s ballet shoes and all her costumes,” said Sharon, “I think of them as her treasures.

“In April we had planned to go to a dance school reunion,” she said.

Mrs Hughes’ long time partner, Pat McGhee, was also injured in the fire but is now back in Newmarket. The couple were tenants of Racing Welfare at Rous Memorial Court in Old Station Road.

The funeral service will be conducted by former racing chaplain the Rev Graham Locking, with donations to the Injured Jockeys’ Fund and Racing Welfare.

The Suffolk coroners’ office has confirmed an inquest will be held.