A minute’s applause will ring out in the 46th minute of Walsall’s match against Southampton tomorrow in memory of avid fan Mark Rainer, a healthcare worker who has died from a rare form of cancer.
The father-of-two died peacefully in the presence of his partner Nikki Rowley at Walsall Palliative Care Centre in Goscote on Tuesday 2 January. He was diagnosed with Pericardial Sarcoma (a rare type of cancerous heart tumour) in 2022 after being unwell for a period of time before this.
James Rainer, Mark’s brother, said: ‘He engaged with his treatment with determination, taking the many disappointments on the chin, and somehow, keeping his spirits up for the benefit of the family.
“Mark was a devoted public servant and was very proud of his contribution to the NHS, always going the extra mile for the patients.”
Mark followed in the footsteps of his mother Margaret Rainer who worked at the Manor and Sandwell Hospitals from 1962 and retired in 2008.
The 46-year-old leaves behind son Josh, 15, and stepson Wilton eight.
Becky Currie, mother of Mark’s Son Josh who works as Matron for Virtual Ward and Hospital at Home at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, said: ‘Mark was the most incredible dad to our son Josh, stepdad to Wilton and partner to Nikki who made him smile every day. Mark and I remained close friends, he would do anything for anyone and we are going to miss him so much – we really are.”
Mark joined Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust in 2001 working as a Ward Clerk in Easi-book. In 2009 he joined the Estates Department before starting a career within the Pharmacy Department in 2011 as a Pharmacy Assistant, completing an NVQ Level 2 in Pharmacy Services and progressing to a supervisory position as a Senior Pharmacy Assistant in September 2020. He was also one of the Pharmacy Department’s fire wardens and regularly took new starters under his wing, helping and supporting them.
He was well known for his love of football and was a dedicated Walsall FC fan, a passion he shared with his son.
Hayley Lloyd, Team Leader – Procurement and Distribution, at Walsall Healthcare, said: ‘As Mark’s Line Manager – but more as a friend over the last 13 years – I can say he was the most caring, genuine, kindest man you could meet.
“He was a true gentleman and the most amazing dad to Josh. Myself and many colleagues alike have shared many nights out with Mark and he was always the one at the heart of the party and he definitely enjoyed a good boogie. Mark will be remembered for his smile, his laughter and his joy for life! He will be truly missed by us all but never forgotten.”
His colleagues have been offered support through Chaplaincy and Occupational Health.
His brother has set up a GoFundMe page in memory of Mark and in support of his son https://gofund.me/afeb9254.
Details of Mark’s funeral arrangements will be shared shortly.