Music fan dies after battle with terminal cancer

A LIFELONG Cliff Richard fan who suffered from terminal cancer has died – just months after the pop legend fulfilled the woman’s dying wish by sending her a personalised music set.

Maxine Taylor, aged 47, died at Knappe Cross Care Centre, on Brixington Lane, last week.

She leaves her dad, John, and mum, Connie, of Morton Crescent, Exmouth; brother, Stewart, and sister, Julie.

In 2009 it was discovered a rare cancerous tumour, which was previously removed, had returned and spread to other parts of her body.

The Cliff fan’s parents were informed by medics that nothing more could be done for their daughter and the condition was terminal. They were told her death would be ‘sooner rather than later.’

Maxine, after staying in hospital for four weeks, was moved to Knappe Cross where she remained thereafter.

It was while she lived at the care centre she received a personalised memorabilia set from the music icon, consisting of a CD compilation, LP, gold badge, and signed autograph which read: ‘To Maxine, with love from Sir Cliff Richard.’

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Speaking to The Journal after she received the gift, she said: “I have loved him ever since I was a child. I was shocked and thrilled to receive the music set.

“To cheer myself up and get through the pain of the illness, people keep telling me to listen to Cliff’s songs and think of him.”

As well as trying to battle cancer, Maxine suffered from learning difficulties and was partially sighted since birth.

Despite the challenges she faced in life, John, paying tribute to his daughter, said: “She was truly inspirational in that she achieved so much.”

The proud father then began to talk about how she had won an array of sporting medals when she was younger.

They included prizes for swimming having competed at the special Olympic national games in Leicester in 1989. Maxine also excelled, not just in the pool, but in gymnastics.

Born in Loughborough, Leicestershire, when she first arrived in Exmouth, a creative-minded Maxine became involved in a craft club and was fond of knitting and painting.

Mum, Connie, said: “She used to make some magnificent blankets and quilts.”

Her sister, Julie, said: “That point in her life when she was achieving those sport medals were a significant highlight for building her self esteem.”

John added: “She was dearly loved and will be dearly missed. Her smile that she always had on her face, even when she was so ill, was infectious and very uplifting to see.”

Maxine’s funeral service will held this week.