THE sudden death of father of three Joe Linklater at the age of 53 sent shockwaves through the town of Egremont ten years ago this month.

The much-loved resident, who turned out for Egremont Rangers rugby league team and later became a committee member, died in his sleep from a cardiac arrest in March, 2011.

Angela Williams, Joe’s fiancée, described what was a tough time for her and their family.

She said: “It was just a distressing time. We were extremely happy together and had our wedding set for the August.

“We were also meant to be viewing a house the day after he had died. It was just devastating to lose my soul mate and all our dreams so suddenly.

“Joe had been really active. He was also a big fan of cricket and cycling, but had to give up some of the sports he loved due to a knee injury. However, there was no indication of any other health problems, so his death came as a complete shock.”

Along with his love of sport, Joe – who worked as a commissioning engineer for Sellafield Ltd – was also devoted to his three children Laura, Graeme and Bethony.

Angela added: “Joe was a real family guy and he adored his children. We were on holiday when his first granddaughter Lucy was born in the December before his death, and he was so proud that he bought everyone in the bar a drink.

“Sadly, he’s been unable to meet his other four grandchildren.”

Now, residents of Egremont are joining forces to raise funds for life-saving research to mark the 10th anniversary of his death.

Knowing that the British Heart Foundation (BHF) funds life-saving research into heart and circulatory diseases, Angela was inspired to use the anniversary as a way to give back.

She launched a Facebook group, encouraging people to do their own thing for BHF in Joe’s memory and help raise awareness of heart health during March.

Friends and family have held a range of fundraising initiatives, from walking 10,000 steps a day to creating and selling face masks.

Egremont Cricket Club have also rallied behind the good cause. Members of the club are planning to cumulatively walk, run and cycle the distance from the club to as many international cricket grounds as they can, with a target to reach the Sydney Cricket Ground in Australia. They have already covered more than 4,000 miles so far.

And several residents ran a heart shaped route in Egremont on Saturday, March 13, marking 10 years to the day since Joe passed away.

“I’ve just been completely blown away by it all,” said Angela. “The support has been incredible.

“We are all so proud to know this money will help the BHF continue to fund its vital research and help families like ours.”

To donate towards the fundraiser, visit