Popular market trader Steve Birch dies at 58

Steve Birch who ran the cheese stall at the Market Harborough indoor market.

Steve Birch who ran the cheese stall at the Market Harborough indoor market.

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Popular market trader Steve Birch has died from cancer at the age of 58.

Steve and his wife Sue Birch ran Sue’s Cheese Stall at Market Harborough market.

Steve Birch who ran the cheese stall at the Market Harborough indoor market.

Steve Birch who ran the cheese stall at the Market Harborough indoor market.

Sue said she wanted to thank all the market traders who had rallied round and kept her stall going for her, while she had been looking after Steve, and taking him to and from hospital.

“They’ve been absolutely brilliant and really helped me through this really, really sad time” she said.

Steve’s funeral will be at St Dionysius church in the town on Monday, January 23 at 2.15pm.

Steve and Sue were married in the same church in 1985.

Steve was born in the Black Country in 1958.

He actually spent most of his working life - about 30 years - as a prison officer at Gartree Prison, near Market Harborough.

He retired from the prison service at 55, and the plan was for Sue and Steve to work together on the market stall.

“It was our little dream to work together with our own business” said Sue, who took voluntary redundancy from the district council.

But the couple had jointly run their stall for just a year, when Steve was first diagnosed with cancer in 2015.

He had an operation, radio and chemotherapy, and was given the all-clear. But the cancer returned last August. Steve died on Monday, January 9.

Sue told the Mail: “Steve was such a kind and sincere man, and he made people laugh.”

Market manager Sairah Butt said: “Steve was such a lovely man who will be deeply missed by staff, fellow traders and customers. The market won’t be the same without him.”

The couple’s market stall will keep going. “It’s lovely to work there” said Sue. “All the people are amazing.”