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It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Fred Hucker, after a brave struggle with cancer. Fred was married to Jacinta Curran, a lovely lady from Athenry, for over 25 years. Through his Irish wife and his position as CEO of the Irish company Bell Lines, Fred joined the fundraising committee of the Irish Youth Foundation in the early 90’s when Mary Clancy was the Chairman and Nessa O’Neill was Chair of the fundraising committee.
Fred was a founding member of the Wooden Spoon Society, a rugby charity that was created in 1983 when England came bottom of the 5 Nations Rugby Table and thus received the ‘Wooden Spoon’! They decided to turn the defeat into something positive and started a children’s charity which has raised over £25 million, to date.
Fred had the idea of ‘piggybacking’ on the existing Wooden Spoon Ball which was held on a Friday in December at the Hilton Hotel in Park Lane, by having an Irish Youth Foundation Ball on the subsequent night and sharing the expenses. This was how the Annual IYF Ball was born. The event was a great success and approximately £100,000 was raised on the night. The IYF Ball has gone on to be the cornerstone event in the Irish Youth Foundation calendar, so we have much to thank Fred Hucker for.
He was a wonderfully enthusiastic, generous, jolly and energetic man with a great sense of humour. He had a joyful optimism in his attitude which was infectious. He also had a beautiful singing voice and would break into song at the drop of a hat! He will be remembered for leading the singalong at the IYF Ball every year.
After he retired, he began a new career in the NHS and become Chairman of the Oxfordshire Health Trust.
He will be much missed by Jacinta, his family and all his numerous friends. The world will be a sadder place without Fred Hucker.