A TIRELESS prostate cancer campaigner has been honoured.

Gary Steele MBE, from Winsford, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999 and founded the Leighton Hospital Prostate Cancer Support Group in 2000.

A plaque has been unveiled at the hospital to celebrate his unstinting efforts which helped hundreds of men over the last 18 years.

As the group’s chairman, Gary dedicated his time to promote awareness of prostate cancer, which is the most common cancer in men in the UK.

He also set up drop-in centres and testing sessions and fundraised for vital equipment and research.

Dad-of-two Gary, 77, who stepped down from the support group in 2017, died on November 24, 2017 at St Luke's Hospice following his own battle with prostate cancer.

Gary raised more than £600,000 for vital equipment, research, staff specialist cancer training and promoting awareness.

He initiated the groups's PSA testing sessions which has seen more than 6,000 men tested for prostate cancer.

The campaigner also donated equipment to the urology and several other departments of the hospital.

Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has now celebrated his work with a plaque in Leighton Hospital’s main entrance.

The plaque was unveiled by Gary’s colleague, Win Bond, in front of his family, friends and supporters.

Win said: “It’s an honour and a privilege for me to be unveiling this commemorative plaque for a very special person. He’s gone but not forgotten and he will always be in our hearts and minds. Gary Steele MBE - a legend.”

The plaque houses the MBE that Gary was awarded in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2012 for his work for prostate cancer, as well as a photograph of Prince Charles presenting Gary with the award.

Dennis Dunn, chairman of Mid Cheshire Hospitals, said: “It is an honour for us to display Gary’s MBE.

"It’s just a small recognition of his tireless work which has touched countless lives and will continue to do so through the many donations of equipment that he made to the hospital.

“We would also like to thank Gary’s family for giving us their blessing to display his MBE and helping us to celebrate his achievements with our patients, staff and visitors.”

Hospital chief executive Tracy Bullock said: “Over the years Gary has made many friends at Mid Cheshire Hospitals and he will be greatly missed.

"Gary worked tirelessly to raise money for the hospital and his efforts have enabled us to buy equipment and many other items that have made a huge difference to the experience of our patients and will continue to do so.

“We will always be extremely grateful for Gary’s time, passion and friendship and on behalf of our staff and patients, who have benefitted from Gary’s regular and generous donations, we would like to say a very special thank you.”

The Leighton Hospital Prostate Cancer Support Group continues to hold bi-monthly meetings at Leighton Hospital and offers support and advice to men, as well as their families, who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

At one of the support group’s previous annual meeting, Gary said: “If I could be remembered as one who has saved men’s lives through my efforts, it will have all been worthwhile.”

For further information on the support group visit prostateleighton.org.uk.