Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, current leader Paul Nuttall and other senior figures in the party have been paying tribute to Penarthian Sam Gould (33) who died from colon cancer earlier this week.
Mr Gould – a father of three who was former pupil of Evenlode Primary and Stanwell School in Penarth –masterminded the party’s highly successful 2016 National Assembly election campaign – in which it won 7 seats. He was also a prominent figure in the successful “Leave” campaign in last year’s EU Referendum
Sam Gould also ran the UKIP General Election campaign in 2015 in the Cardiff South and Penarth constituency . He even brought his toddler daughter Louise with him onto the platform at the Penarth Woodcraft Folk hustings debate at All Saints Church Hall, Penarth where he stood-in for UKIP parliamentary candidate John Rees-Evans.
Mr Gould underwent major surgery this Spring at the Royal Gwent Hospital at Newport where it was found that cancer had spread to his liver and lymph nodes – but he continued to campaign from his hospital bed – standing as a council candidate for the St James Ward of Caerphilly.
He made a Facebook video to raise awareness of bowel cancer – pointing out that it is the third most common cancer – affecting 2,000 people in Wales every year .
Friends and colleagues have been recalling the campaign stunts in which he was involved – including being rescued from the incoming tide at Margate after inscribing a “We Love Nige” slogan on the sand.
Nigel Farage said: “Who can forget his Margate stunt, and his ongoing effervescent personality? Ukip in Wales and nationally have lost a happy dynamo. I pass on my heartfelt condolences to Sam’s wife and young family.”
UKIP said “Through his videos and social media campaign, Sam raised awareness of the symptoms of bowel cancer. In fact, his videos have now been viewed by over 100,000 people”.
“The comments and messages he has received suggest that many people found comfort from them and the strength to go to their GP with their symptoms.”
“In his 33 years, Sam achieved more in business, politics and in his campaign for bowel cancer awareness than many achieve in a lifetime but he always said he was most proud of his family, his wife Caroline and their three beautiful girls.”