A community has been left in ‘complete shock’ following the sudden death of a popular GP.
Dr Robert Grayson helped run the Great Harwood Medical Group based at the new health centre and the High Street Surgery in Rishton, serving more than 8,000 people.
The 45-year-old, who is the son of Rishton councillor Harry Grayson, died suddenly on Thursday, September 10.
Great Harwood councillor Noordad Aziz, who was one of Dr Grayson’s patients, said it is a ‘great loss to the town’.
He said: “He was a well-liked, great man who was absolutely fantastic at his job.
“It’s come as a complete shock to me. It’s so sad that he has died at such a relatively young age.
“It’s just bonkers and mind blowing that we have lost him so soon. He was in his prime.”
Coun Aziz said Dr Grayson ‘always went beyond the call of duty to help’.
He added: “He always took care in treating his patients and asked them how they were. He spoke to you like a friend and not like a doctor.
“I always thought he was going to be here for a number of years.
“He was considered part of Great Harwood’s soul and one of our own. It’s a great loss to the town.”
Sarah Lord, practice manager at the Great Harwood Medical Group spokesperson said he will be 'sadly missed by everyone who met him, or were treated by him'
She said: "Dr Rob Grayson was the longest serving Partner of Great Harwood Medical Group, joining in 2005.
"Rob was born and educated in Rishton, and although he undertook his medical training in London, Rob returned to the area to practice as a GP at Great Harwood Medical Group, latterly becoming the senior partner of the practice.
"Rob was committed to the health and wellbeing of his patients and the local community he lived in and served.
"He was very highly thought of amongst his colleagues and patients and his loss will be felt greatly throughout the community.
"Not only was Rob a highly experienced and very hard working doctor, his dedication to his patients was renowned and he will be sadly missed by everyone who met him, or were treated by him.
"Our thoughts and condolences go to Rob's family whom he loved so very much”.
Patrick McGinley, of Whalley Road, Great Harwood, said he was a ‘colossus of a man for Great Harwood’.
He said: “It’s terrible news. He was such a lovely man. He wasn’t my GP but we became good friends this year and it’s such a tragedy.
“I always thought he was a wonderful, hard working and genuine man. He was a giant of a man.
“Some people in professions can be a bit choosy and picky but he loved everybody and tried his best for everyone.
“Several people have contacted me about it and some of them were in tears which show what he meant.”
The Rishton-born GP helped agree a deal to merge the Rishton High Street Surgery with the Great Harwood Medical Group after the retirement of long standing family doctor Kailash Agarwal.
A family friend told the Observer that Dr Grayson’s family are understood to be too upset to speak at this time and are awaiting a cause of death.