Coventry City Council is sad to announce that its former Leader and Lord Mayor John Mutton has died in the early hours of this morning (Sunday 15 May)
A recognised political heavyweight, he had been a councillor since 1984, serving the Binley and Willenhall ward of the city where he lived and had been re-elected to serve another four years representing the ward 10 days ago.
During his near 40 years serving the residents of the city, Councillor Mutton held many positions during that time. He was Lord Mayor in 1997/98, Deputy Leader of the Council from 2000 to 2003, Leader from 2003 to 2004, Leader of the opposition from 2004 to 2010 and then Leader of the Council from 2010 to 2013.
A 'Coventry kid' who was immensely proud of the city he was born and grew up in, he attended Manor Park Infants and Junior and Whitley Abbey Comprehensive schools.
The 74-year-old was a lifelong trade unionist, first as a shop steward at the City Engineers depot for the T&GWU and also for USDAW at the Co-op Dairy in Coventry.
When he was younger, Councillor Mutton was a useful footballer and played for Coventry City's youth team and reserves from 1963 through to 1965. Later he went on to play as a semi-professional for St Neots and Tring Town.
For many years Councillor Mutton has taken a group of young athletes and swimmers to the International Children's Games - in 2005 it was held in Coventry, the first time the Games had been held in England. In the past Coventry has been the only English city represented and Councillor Mutton was looking forward to Coventry once again hosting the International Children's Games in August this year.
Councillor George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council, said the city has lost a formidable figure and champion.
He said: "John Mutton was a legend in political circles and his passing is a terrible blow for the city as well as his family.
"My thoughts are with his wife Mal and all of his family at this desperately sad time, as nothing can prepare you for this.
"John has done so much for the city, but I know one of his proudest achievements – which he was respected internationally for – was his work and involvement with the International Children's Games. Perhaps it is fitting that the Games are being hosted once again in Coventry this summer, something I know John was so proud of."
Councillor Gary Ridley, Leader of the Opposition Conservative Group, Coventry City Council, said: "We may have had our differences politically, but I have always had total respect for John and what he has achieved.
"Nobody had more passion for this city and anyone who met him would know he loved being a councillor who was proud to represent the people of his ward. He was dedicated, worked hard and was well respected by councillors, officers and the residents of Binley and Willenhall. He worked tirelessly for Coventry and will be greatly missed.
"I'll miss his contribution, our conversations, and yes, even our (sometimes fierce) contests in Full Council. My deepest sympathies are with John's family."
Councillor Mutton leaves behind his wife Mal, two sons, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
If you'd like to pay tribute to Cllr Mutton then please consider signing one of our books of remembrance. The books are available at the Council House and Willenhall Library.