Inspirational father Steve Evans, who shared his story of living with incurable cancer with thousands of people over the internet, has died.
The 52-year-old from Wolverhampton became a media star after appearing on Richard Bacon’s programme on Radio 5 Live and as a guest on the BBC’s Breakfast programme.
But it was his regular and uplifting messages on the social networking website Twitter that gained him an army of 26,000 supporters and well-wishers from far and wide.
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And his daughter today said that it gave them great comfort that their ‘amazing dad’ had been able to become such an inspiration to so many people.
He passed away in his sleep in New Cross Hospital in the early hours of today.
Radio Five Live presenter Richard Bacon visited Steve in hospital earlier this week and recorded a final interview on his phone.
In it Steve said: “Love is all around and I am so blessed that I have had so much around me.”
He spent 32 years as a building surveyor for Wolverhampton City Council, but was also a magician and comedian.
He retired from his job after being diagnosed with incurable stomach cancer two years ago.
He would compere comedy nights at Wolverhampton’s Civic Halls, where he also worked for a decade ‘ripping tickets’, as he put it, and looking after some of the big name stars that performed there.
He was the person who made sure that comedians had everything they needed before and after their performances – and was so well liked by performers and staff at the Civic that his name was added to a wall of fame alongside the likes of Lenny Henry and Noddy Holder.
Comedian Jimmy Carr attended the ceremony in October last year.
Steve was overjoyed to have been able to spend Christmas at home in Old Fallings Lane with his wife of 28 years, Septina, and their daughters Megan, aged 26, and Lauren, 21.
It was Megan who announced her father’s death over Twitter and Facebook this morning.
This is Meg. This is a message 2all. The man that is Dad had passed peacefully in his sleep. We thank you for all your support xxx— Steve Evans (@steveevans51) January 16, 2014
Speaking to the Express & Star, she added: “It was a great shock at first that so many people were following him online.
“To us, dad was always dad. What he did was an amazing thing but it never changed our feelings towards him. He was inspirational to us.
“The fact that so many other people found him inspirational validated our own thoughts.”
Steve Evans' final interview with Richard Bacon:
Steve had spent his final years enjoying time with friends and family and also fishing.
He took joy and comfort from messages of support sent by strangers and revealed that he had received Christmas cards from people he had never met. And he would continue to help at the Civic Halls whenever he was able to, assisting disabled visitors as a concierge.
He would speak and tweet candidly and with great humour about what effects the treatment for cancer was having on him.
Steve had recently become too weak to tweet updates himself but was dictating them to his lifelong friend John Price.
His final message, from his hospital bed in New Cross on Monday, was:
Just look at the "Weather" and I'm stuck in here! So if you are on or near a fisheries today better still are fishing yourself send pic.— Steve Evans (@steveevans51) January 13, 2014
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Steve’s old school friend John Price, aged 52, of Hill Meadows, Compton, said: “It was incredible seeing the responses from people. Whenever Steve went on the radio the phone would keep buzzing and the laptop would keep beeping.
“The one positive from this is that it’s given thousands of people the chance to meet my best friend.”
Instead of saying that he was dying, Steve always preferred to talk about being on a ‘journey’ and in his last interview he said: “I’ve got my eyes closed and I’m trying as hard as I possibly can to manifest the words.
“But I’ve been lucky enough to experience this microcosm of the journey in a long way.”
Steve Evans performs a card trick for Steve Bull at a Wolves game in November:
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