Doctor Who superfan laid to rest in a Tardis coffin

Doctor Who superfan laid to rest in a Tardis coffin as family pay tribute to ‘sci-fi mad’ father-of-two, 50, who died of a brain tumour

  • Robin Wilkinson, 50 died in July and was cremated with Doctor Who theme tune

A Doctor Who fan was laid to rest in a Tardis coffin – which was wheeled in while the theme tune from the hit TV show played.

‘Sci-fi mad’ Robin Wilkinson, 50, died from a brain tumour in July 2023.

The father-of-two, from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, also had a Star Wars lightsaber placed in the Tardis during the funeral service.

He passed away three years after he first suffering blackouts, which were later diagnosed as a terminal glioblastoma tumour.

Niece Eve Huckbody, 36, said: ‘Uncle Robin was sci-fi mad, so he was cremated in the Tardis – the Doctor Who police box.

Doctor Who fan Robin Wilkinson who died of a brain tumour in July was laid to rest in a Tardis coffin

A Star Wars lightsaber was also placed in Robin’s coffin during the funeral service

The Doctor Who themed coffin was wheeled into the service while the series’ theme tune was played as it was too heavy to be carried

The father-of two (pictured right with his mother and sisters) from Rotherham died three years after first experiencing blackouts, later diagnosed as a terminal glioblastoma tumour

‘It was massive and weighed a tonne.

‘It was too heavy to be carried, so it had to be wheeled in while the Doctor Who theme tune was playing.

‘It was brilliant, I could just imagine him laughing his head off. It really summed him up.’

Robin, dad to Gemma, 23, and Kyle, 25, began to notice something was wrong in the summer of 2020.

Eve, also from Rotherham, said: ‘He had an MRI scan but it took so long to get the results.

‘During that time, his mum said he was babbling a lot and wasn’t making any sense. His emotions were really up and down.

‘I actually called the local mental health team because I thought he was having a breakdown.

‘That same day, the hospital called to say the MRI scan showed Uncle Robin had a brain tumour.

‘It was devastating and I just didn’t want to believe it.’

Robin was then put on steroids to try and reduce the swelling on his brain.

And Eve, who is mum to Lennon, five, and eight-month-old Laila, said: ‘We were told the tumour was terminal and would grow back.

‘He was told he would get an extra 12 months if he had an operation.

‘It was a really hard decision for him to make but he decided to go for it and had surgery in February 2021.

‘He then had chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but it made him really poorly.

‘He was sick, dizzy, and had no appetite.

Robin was cremated in this Doctor Who Tardis-themed coffin

His ashes were scattered into the Irish Sea at Sandscale Haws Nature reserve in the Lake District, Cumbria

‘I wondered if it was the right thing to do, but it did mean we had a family Christmas and Uncle Robin got to celebrate his 50th birthday, which was a big milestone for him.’

Robin died at home on July 9, 2023 surrounded by his family and was cremated at Rotherham crematorium in August.

His ashes were scattered into the Irish Sea at Sandscale Haws Nature reserve in the Lake District, Cumbria.

Eve said: ‘When Uncle Robin was diagnosed, it was a massive shock and we were absolutely devastated.

‘Everyone loved him because he was such a fun character who was always being silly.

‘The brain tumour took over his life. It was really hard to see him go through that.

‘It is such a cruel disease. He didn’t deserve to die like that.

‘But I’ve got so many happy memories of him, including his final farewell at the funeral.’

Eve is now telling Robin’s story through the charity Brain Tumour Research.

She is also taking on the ‘100 a Day, Your Way in November Challenge’ to raise vital funds.

In February 2021, Robin elected to have an operation which enabled him to live another 12 months and saw him make his 50th birthday

Robin was described by his niece Eve as a ‘fun character’ who always ‘loved being silly’

This sees participants choose from five exercises: squats, star jumps, sit ups, push ups or a plank, and aim to achieve 100 reps per day.

Eve said: ‘Other cancers receive so much more funding than brain tumours. More needs to be done because it seems there is no way of surviving this.

‘I’m doing the 100 a Day, Your Way in November Challenge not just for Uncle Robin but for everyone affected by brain tumours.’

Matthew Price, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: ‘We’re really grateful to Eve for taking on the 100 a Day, Your Way in November Challenge as it’s only with the support of people like her that we’re able to progress our research into brain tumours and improve the outcome for patients like Robin who are forced to fight this awful disease.’

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