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NewsHonour for Stockport officer killed in the line of duty

Honour for Stockport officer killed in the line of duty

A Stockport officer who was killed in the line of duty will be honoured by Greater Manchester Police.

Dad-of-two Ian Rodgers was 25 years old when he was hit by a train in Brinnington, in 1975.

The PC was looking for children after reports they were trespassing on the line and suffered fatal injuries from which he died about a week later.

A tree was planted in the memorial garden at GMP’s Sedgley Park training headquarters to mark the 40th anniversary of PC Rodgers’ death.

Chief superintendent John Webster, wants a fitting tribute to PC Rodgers at Cheadle Heath Police Station where the conference suite will be named in his honour.

Ian’s widow, Pauline (76) was a teacher in Stockport and has now retired to live in Salisbury. They have two sons, Dan (51) and Andy (49).

Pauline said: “Ian was first and foremost a wonderful dad, husband and exceptional police officer.

“When Ian left school on the Wirral, he joined the Police Cadets in Liverpool and spent some time there before transferring to join the force in Manchester, operating in Stockport.

“Ian and I first met in Crewe. He was doing a driving course, I was at the local teacher training college, and we married in August 1971.

“He loved both his children, playing cars and trains endlessly with Dan, and waking up three-month-old Andy when he got in from work at 11.30pm, just so he could give him a cuddle.

“At Christmas and on birthdays he worked on his carpentry skills in the garage, making planes, garages and bikes. Our family unit was developing but Ian’s accident and death in April 1975 shattered that unit and left an unfillable void in the following years.

“Ian gave much of his spare time to the local community he worked in, spending many hours helping Stockport youngsters with their swimming and lifesaving skills. He also helped with a local Scout troop and attended church whenever possible.

“He was a dedicated officer with a high sense of duty to his community and was ambitious and aiming to become a member of Stockport CID.”

Moment changed our lives forever

Dan, who lives in Perth, Australia, and is in the UK with his wife and two daughters, visited Cheadle Heath Police Station.

He said: “Sadly, neither my brother nor I have any memories of Dad. I was two-and-half when he died, my brother only four months old.

“Undoubtedly that moment changed our lives forever and left our family traumatised and lost.

“We have both always been so proud of dad, of his selfless actions in saving children and his outstanding commitment to family, us and particularly our mum.

“Mum will always say that she lost her ‘everything’ when dad died and has never remarried. Dad was absolutely the love of her life; her rock, her strength and passion.

“We truly believe that dad is an absolute Stockport hero and should be remembered in that way.

“Last April I posted his story on the Facebook ‘Stockport Memories’ page and I was inundated with messages and comments from people who remembered the accident, people acknowledging his actions, and also from current serving officers of the GMP.

“It will be very poignant for mum to know that dad is being remembered in this way and special that future generations will know his story.”

Fitting tribute

Chief Superintendent Webster invited Dan and his family to Cheadle Heath Police Station to see the room that will be named in his dad’s honour.

He said: “I was looking through the history of policing in GMP, and in Stockport in particular, and came across the tragic story of PC Rodgers.

“He was a young man when he lost his life serving the people of Stockport.

“I believe he is the only Stockport officer ever to have been killed in the line of duty but there is no memorial in Stockport in his honour.

“I wanted to put that right and decided naming the conference suite at Cheadle Heath after him is a fitting tribute.”

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