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Sister pays tribute to remarkable Rhostyllen man

Published date: 14 March 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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TRIBUTES have been paid to a remarkable man with Down’s syndrome who has died aged 64.

Clifford Arnold, of Spring Road in Rhostyllen, spent a lifetime defying the odds and was always determined to get the very most out of life.

His devoted sister and carer Betty Arnold described him as “the happiest person you could meet”.

Mr Arnold couldn’t read or write but friends taking part in pub quizzes would regularly phone him up asking for answers to tough questions on the subjects of music and television, knowing he had a remarkable memory that was a mine of information.

As a child, doctors told Mr Arnold’s parents – Reg and Mary – the severity of his disability meant it would be impossible for him to learn to walk and talk.

But with the loving support of his family and great personal determination, Mr Arnold proved the experts wrong.

Although his mobility was limited he could walk and one of the great pleasures in his life was enjoying plenty of chats with friends and relatives.

“Clifford also loved and had a great knowledge of music. His favourite singer was Elvis, but he liked lots of other acts including Cilla Black, The Beatles and Cliff Richard,” Miss Arnold said.

“Clifford had thousands of CDs and DVDs. Although he couldn’t read he could pick out the individual discs by looking at the pictures on the covers. He remembered them all.

“Friends taking part in pub quizzes often phoned him up looking for answers to questions on music and TV because he knew so much.”

Mr Arnold was a big fan of soap operas and his favourite was Coronation Street. As an avid viewer he visited the set of the show about 10 times.

Mr Arnold was just eight-months-old when his father died. That left his widowed mother to bring up the family of four children.

As well as Clifford and Betty there was Thelma who died in 2001, aged 62, and Tommy, now 75, who lives in Rhostyllen.

Mary died of liver cancer, aged 72, in 1987. Before her death, Miss Arnold promised she would always look after Clifford.

Miss Arnold gave up her career as manager of a tool merchants so she could be her brother’s carer and never regretted the decision for a moment.

“Clifford was a bundle of fun. He would never misbehave or be unhappy,” she said.

Mr Arnold died following a severe chest infection and his funeral was at Holy Trinity Church, Esclusham.

Miss Arnold said the service was full of mourners who had come to pay their last respects to her brother, who was such a popular man.

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