Sam Gould, Brexit campaigner and former UKIP Caerphilly chairman dies
News | | Published: 13:26, Tuesday June 6th, 2017.
Last updated: 14:00, Tuesday June 6th, 2017
Sam Gould, the former chairman of UKIP in Caerphilly and prominent Brexit campaigner, has died.
The 33-year-old father-of-three was diagnosed with bowel cancer in April, and vowed to fight the disease, using social media to share his story. Last month, he revealed that doctors had told him he had just months to live.
Speaking in May, Mr Gould told Caerphilly Observer: “They [doctors] said the way the cancer was progressing was so unpredictable that it was a matter of months.
“So many people from across Caerphilly have been in touch. My wife goes down to our daughter’s school and people give her hugs.
“We’re taking each day as it comes. Every moment of every day is so precious now. I’m never ever going to take anything for granted again.”
Mr Gould used social media to great effect during his time campaigning for Brexit and UKIP and turned to Facebook and Twitter to share his story and urge people not to ignore symptoms that could be indicative of bowel cancer.
He ran as UKIP’s candidate for Caerphilly in both the 2015 general election and the 2016 Welsh Assembly election, finishing second in 2015 and third in 2016. He was also the face of UKIP’s local campaign in the run-up to the EU referendum in June 2016.
However, politic differences were put aside after news of his diagnosis, with both Labour and Conservative politicians visiting in hospital.
Leading the tributes, Caerphilly AM Hefin David said: “Sam was an unmatchably energetic opponent who used his last illness to campaign for others. When I visited him after his operation he talked not about himself but about how to improve diagnosis times and treatment for other people with bowel cancer.
“I will also remember calls from my campaign manager during last year’s Assembly election that invariably began, ‘Have you heard what Sam has done now?’. Rest well Sam Gould. I will miss you.”
Caerphilly MP, Wayne David, added: “I was saddened to hear of the death of Sam. He was a determined and effective campaigner for the causes he believed in. He was the UKIP Parliamentary candidate for Caerphilly in 2015 and he fought a determined and imaginative campaign which saw UKIP come second.
“More than anyone else, Sam was delighted that Caerphilly County Borough voted by a clear majority for leaving the European Union. He will be missed by many people in Caerphilly and my heart goes out to his family.”
Morgan Jones councillor, James Pritchard added: “Sam was a tenacious political campaigner who I always got on with. He was always up for a good debate and discussion and he was never afraid to put forward his arguments. Sam’s determination to confront his illness was made more remarkable by selflessly dedicating his final few weeks to fundraise for Bowel Cancer UK. Sam will be missed.”
Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Leader, Cllr David Poole, said: “While we had very different political views, I admired Mr Gould’s determination and drive in campaigning for the causes that he so strongly believed in.
“More recently, his determination to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer despite his illness, using his position within the community to champion this important cause was admirable.
“My sincere condolences are with Mr Gould’s wife, children, family and friends at this very difficult time.”
Mr Gould worked for former UKIP Wales leader, and current independent assembly member, Nathan Gill.
Mr Gill, also a member of the European parliament, spoke of his sadness at the news, saying: “I am shocked and devastated to hear the news of the death of my friend and colleague, Sam Gould.
“Sam was the most loyal, sincere, and hard-working person I have ever met. His energy and enthusiasm for everything in life was contagious and inspiring. He will be dearly missed by, not only myself, but all of his colleagues and all of those who got to know him at the Senedd.
“He tackled his illness the same way he tackled everything in life, with a smile, with hope, and with boundless energy. It is tragic that he succumbed to cancer at such a young age.
“He spent his last weeks trying to raise awareness of bowel cancer, and as was so typical of Sam, thinking of others. Just days before his death, he called me concerned about my upcoming hip operation.
“My thoughts and prayers are now with Caroline and his three young girls, who must be heartbroken.”
Upon learning of his diagnosis, Mr Gould stepped away from politics but remained a prominent campaigner on social media, using his large following to raise awareness of the symptoms of bowel cancer.
Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of Sam Gould’s passing. His determination to raise awareness of our Never Too Young campaign and to improve services for people in Wales to ensure other young lives are not needlessly lost to bowel cancer in the future was an inspiration to us when he was dealing with the tough reality of his own situation.
“A campaigner until the end, his support meant so much to us all at the charity. Our thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time.”
Sam is survived by his wife Caroline and three daughters, aged five, four, and one.