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Son, 14, shares dad's last day at work - and says VIP tour was 'magic'

Josh Cunniff always wanted to know where his gas engineer dad Mick went each morning

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Mick Cunniff spending his last day at work after 40 years was joined by his teenage son Josh, 14

A teenager’s dream to spend a day with his dad at work came true in an emotional last day before he retired.

Josh Cunniff, 14, has cerebral palsy, autism and little sight in either eye.

He had been desperate to know what his gas engineer dad got up to when he jumped into his van and left their home, each morning.

Mick Cunniff’s job – to be ready and available to respond to any gas emergency across a wide area – meant this was a challenge to accommodate safely. So, on his last day after 40 years, a special VIP-tour was arranged for them.

The tour took in Mick’s operational base in Great Harwood for a final farewell with some of the many colleagues he’s worked with since 1977.

Mick Cunniff spending his last day at work after 40 years was joined by his teenage son Josh, 14

Josh was also driven by Mick to gas distribution network Cadent’s training centre in Hollinwood, near Manchester. They explored the training workshops, gas detection kit and ‘street set’ used by engineers to learn their skills.

Father-of-five and Burnley fan Mick, from Rawtenstall, said: “This has probably been the happiest and saddest day of my 40 years in the job. To see Josh beaming as he came to work with me in the van, and seeing what I do, has brought a tear to my eye.

“When he was born, the doctors said he wouldn’t laugh, cry or speak, but if you sit with him now he’ll talk the hind legs off a donkey, and crack you up.

“He’s surpassed all expectations despite still needing a lot of help, but this is a day he will remember for the rest of his life.”

Mick Cunniff spending his last day at work after 40 years was joined by his teenage son Josh, 14

Josh, who goes to Tor View School in Haslingden, said: “My dad has always told me about his job but I really wanted to see what he did.

“This has been just magic. It will be sad when my dad leaves, but I’m looking forward to seeing more of him.”

Jonathan Charlesworth, Cadent network supervisor, said: “Mick is going to be a hard act to follow. He’s always been hard working, professional, ready to take on new challenges and help the company and teammates out where he can.

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“His positive attitude is a priceless skill to have and that shines through when you see what a tremendous job he’s done in refusing to let Josh’s condition get the better of him.”