TRIBUTES have been paid to former Mayor of Sunderland Wally Scott who was found dead in Thailand.
Mr Scott, who was 58, died in his apartment in Pattaya where he had been living for the last two-and-a-half years.
His sister Jackie Pirrie, 60, said he had been ill for a short time and finally succumbed to respiratory failure on August 16.
Mrs Pirrie last spoke to her brother a few days before he died and asked him to come home to recuperate.
“But he was happy in Thailand,” she said. “He loved the life out there.”
Formerly of Oxclose, Mr Scott represented the Washington South ward for many years after first being elected in 1984 and was Mayor of Sunderland in 1998.
He was divorced and had two daughters, Jennifer, 30, and Kate, 29, and four grandchildren. He was the older brother of Peter, 56, and Clive, 54.
During his mayoral year, one of Mr Scott’s chosen charities was the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths, as he lost his only son Andrew, aged just two months.
Mrs Pirrie, of Great Lumley, said she wanted to remember his brother for all he did to help people.
“That was his life,” she said.
“He was a lovely, lovely child, always a teacher’s pet, and he was a lovely man.”
Daughter Jennifer, of Washington, said: “He brought us up as a single parent since I was 10 years old.
“Everybody seemed to love him, he was well-known in the area.
“He was a lovely, friendly person and did his best by his family.
“We lost my brother when he was a baby, which hit him hard but he fought on to look after us.”
Former Mayor and fellow councillor Bryn Sidaway said he was shocked to hear of Mr Scott’s death.
“I knew Wally very well,” Mr Sidaway said. “He was a lovely man. We go back years, to the 1980s. He was a very good ambassador for the City of Sunderland and I’m really, really sad to hear of his untimely demise.’’
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: “We can confirm the death of a British national in Thailand on August 16.
“We are providing consular assistance to the family at this sad time.”