Tributes paid to former Crawley mayor and ‘servant to the town’ Douglas William Murdoch

Crawley councillor Doug Murdoch
Crawley councillor Doug Murdoch

Tributes have been paid to former Crawley mayor Douglas William Murdoch, who died aged 80 on April 30 at Brighton University Hospital.

Doug was a councillor and a ‘servant to the town’ according to his widow.

Carol Murdoch said: “He loved Crawley. He was always very proud to be a councillor let alone mayor for the year and wanted the best for the people.

“He really was a wonderful [man].”

Carol met Doug when the two were in the civil service and he was working as a trade union negotiating officer. Carol became involved in local government and Doug quickly followed her.

She added: “I got involved in local politics and he followed me in the beginning but he very quickly overtook me.

“Our house was like a council office. He just did not stop.

“He was born in London, but when we moved to Crawley that was it. That was his home.

“He wanted the best he could for Crawley.

“The thing that seems to be a very common expression they used [people who spoke to Carol following Doug’s death]: ‘we have lost a lovely man’.

“And that does sum him up, a lovely, lovely man.”

Carol said Doug always put others before him.

She said: “He always put himself last. Last person on the list.

“He’s a real community champion. It’s not really for me to say but I think so.

“Although he was very quiet he got very angry if he thought there was an injustice going on.

“I saw how hard he worked. He really cared.”

But family also mattered deeply to Doug.

Carol added: “Although he cared very much for the town and worked very hard he really did cherish his family.

“He was a brilliant husband, brilliant grandfather, brilliant father.

“He was a lovely man. He did care for his family and he definitely cared for Crawley.

“His family and Crawley were the two most important things in his life.”

Doug leaves his wife Carol, son Neal and two grandaughters Shannon and Amy.

A funeral service will be held on Tuesday May 28 at 3pm in St Richard’s Chapel, Surrey and Sussex Crematorium. Flowers are welcome.

If you would like to make a donation in memory of Doug, please send direct to The Renal ward, Sussex Kidney Service, Royal Sussex County Hospital.