Belfast Telegraph

Son of MLA Hilditch dies after long battle with cancer

Stuart Hilditch
Stuart Hilditch
Mark Bain

By Mark Bain

Stuart Hilditch - the son of East Antrim MLA David Hilditch and a former footballer with Carrick Rangers - has died after a three-year battle with cancer.

Mr Hilditch, who was a part-time firefighter in Carrickfergus, was in his 30s and leaves a wife and three children.

His father, David, has been a DUP MLA for East Antrim since 1998 and twice served as Mayor of Carrickfergus.

Mr Hilditch was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in October 2016 and passed away in hospital yesterday morning. The former council worker was well-known in football. He began his career as a goalkeeper and while still a teenager was playing for the Carrick Rangers senior team. He also earned representative honours for Northern Ireland at youth level.

Stuart later enjoyed spells as a prolific goalscorer with east Antrim clubs Islandmagee, Barn United and Wellington Rec.

He was an avid follower of the Northern Ireland international football team and an Orangeman.

Councillor Marc Collins, secretary of the East Antrim Association of the DUP, said: "On behalf of the association I would like to send our condolences to David and the entire family circle at this very difficult time."

One of Mr Hilditch's former clubs, Islandmagee FC, took to social media to pay respects to their former striker.

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