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Simon Green Dies

March 17, 2022

Tributes have been paid to a prominent disability campaigner and wheelchair athlete who has died.

Simon Green, from Bridgend, raised thousands for charity and campaigned for disability rights.

He was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2018, and after believing he had recovered he was told in 2020 that it had returned, and was inoperable.

Mr Green’s death was confirmed by Bridgend Ravens rugby club, which said it was “devastated” in a tweet.

The club said it would be paying tribute to him ahead of their match against Pontypridd on Thursday with an applause before kick-off.

https://emp.bbc.co.uk/emp/SMPj/2.44.14/iframe.htmlMedia caption,

Simon Green spoke about coronavirus and his cancer diagnosis in 2020

The Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations said: “We are devastated to hear the sad news that Simon Green, chair and co-founder of Bridgend Disability Coalition has passed away.

“He was a true inspiration, raised thousands for charity and fought tirelessly for disability rights. He will be always missed and always remembered.”

His friend, Helen Fincham, told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast he was a “force to be reckoned with” who “never stopped”.

She said: “The other stuff he did was constantly campaigning and raising awareness and advocating for himself, and everyone in the disabled community could turn to him for help.

“He was never a trained professional in anything but you knew if you had a problem you could always turn to him and he would fight with his life to help you and make sure he could make change for yourself and everyone around him.”

Simon’s friend Zoe Phillips says she is “disbelief” at the news, adding “I’m still in shock, I get these moments or realisation that he’s gone.”

Zoe knew Simon as the “life of the party” in Bridgend, but said they became “best friends” after Simon reached out and invited her and her brother Randal to a disability event in Cardiff.

Zoe’s brother Randal has cerebral palsy, and she said that Simon “gave my brother something to look forward to, and made my brother feel normal, he took him to his first every rugby game.

“He’s completely changed my life. His passion is infectious for change, and enjoyment of life, and that’s how he’s changed mine,” said Zoe.

“He’s the first person we’d go to if we were struggling, and I know for a fact that he’s saved lives.”

Wales Rugby League, where Mr Green worked in the media team, also tweeted a tribute.

Mr Green also championed disability access for a BBC Wales programme Wales Investigates and also featured in a Panorama documentary about disability hate crime.

Huw David, leader of Bridgend council, said Mr Green was a “tireless campaigner” and “extraordinary charity fundraiser”.

He added: “He was a good friend who never let his disability deter him, and an excellent advocate for the rights of disabled people.

“Simon will be sadly missed, and fondly remembered.”

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