'A broken heart' caused man's death just hours after his grandson's killer received guilty verdict

The Cook family from Liverpool said that the grandfather, Radcliffe, was a "broken man" after the death of his beloved grandson, who was the "apple of his eyes"


                            'A broken heart' caused man's death just hours after his grandson's killer received guilty verdict
Carl Madigan (Polcie Department)

The grandfather of 21-year-old Sam Cook, who died after being stabbed in the heart while he was celebratin his 21st birthday, died 12 hours after a jury found his grandson's attacker guilty "of a broken heart".

On Friday, June 15, 82-year-old Dave Radcliffe suffered a heart attack after he went back home with family after they celebrated the justice that was delivered for their fallen family member.

The jury reached a unanimous verdict and found Carl Madigan guilty of murder, the Mirror reported.

Cook was celebrating his birthday at the Empire nightclub in Liverpool on October 21 when he was stabbed in the heart by Madigan. The 21-year-old's family gave a very emotional interview to the Liverpool ECHO.

The family, Cook's mom Gill, his uncle Phil and his grandmother Val, all said that the grandfather, Radcliffe, was a "broken man" after his beloved grandson, who was the "apple of his eye" passed away.

They said: "He was a military man and didn't show his emotions but from that very first morning, when he was told what had happened, from then on, he cried every single day. It broke his heart. He was incredibly close to Sam - and he really looked up to him. And to lose Sam in the horrendous circumstances that we did - it really did break him, it changed him."

"Before he wasn't the typical 82-year-old but he became frail and the sadness in his eyes was for all to see. I don't care what anyone says - he died of a broken heart - he did. The fall out from something like this, we have said it all along, it destroys families lives and it has claimed another."

The family called Radcliffe after Madigan was found guilty in court and told him the good news. He was not present during the trial and he told his family that he was, at that moment, the "most content" he had been since the death of Cook.

The family said: "I said 'its guilty' and he said 'brilliant that is just brilliant'. He really was elated because we had got justice for Sam. We didn't want him to attend the trial but every day he would listen to what had happened in court. And it was a bittersweet to hear guilty, we knew it was not going to bring Sam back, nothing will, but my dad was content that we had justice. It was like he was hanging on for that."

Radcliffe's family members said that they had been out for dinner like the night they went for dinner to celebrate Madigan's guilty verdict. When they reached home, however, the old man collapsed after he wished his family goodnight. In spite of his son and the paramedics trying their best to revive him by giving him CPR, he died.

The family said: "If we saw what had happened to us on TV we would say it was far fetched. I still feel like I am in a film - watching somebody else's life - it is surreal. I have lost my only child and nothing will ever bring Sam back and now I am grieving for dad. There should have been a time as a family where we we could pull together and say 'okay we had Sam for a lovely 21 years and now it's about us as a family remembering Sam but now we are back there again."

According to various family members, Cook and Radcliffe were very close to each other. The grandfather used to drive to his grandson's school every day for 16 years to pick him up. The family said: "Sam would really belly laugh at dad - he was a really funny man. He did the school run every day until Sam was 16, because Sam would never get the bus anywhere."

"They would argue about what radio station to put on, my dad liked BBC Radio 2 and Sam wanted Capital.nAnd dad used to skit Sam - because he was into his looks and he would go 'where is George Clooney?' It really was a lovely relationship they had together."

One other memory that the family spoke about was the one where Cook marched with Radcliffe. The old man was in the Liverpool Scottish Regimental Association Pipe Band. 

They said: "A lot of people won't have realised that they probably saw Sam as a little boy marching with his grandad. And a lot of people know dad and will know him via that connection. He was part of the fabric of Liverpool and he never missed a Remembrance Day. Even after Sam was gone, we all as a family went to Remembrance Sunday that November and made it about Sam and released balloons and all of dad's friends in the band were there. They were heartbroken for him, he has had loads of support from his former army friends."

Radcliffe was known to love building things and when Cook was still alive, the doting grandfather used to teach him a thing or two in the workshop. Family members fondly recall the two of them working on things together. They said: "Dad built him a little bench, like his bench in the garden and it was funny to watch. They were sat there in silence and Sam was only little - both of them hammering away on their benches. It was like two workmen in a shed."

The family then said that the only way they have been able to find some comfort after the two deaths is that they know both Cook and his grandfather are together whereever they are. They said: "I know they are together now. And that does give us a little bit of comfort that neither of them are alone. It is almost like Sam has called for him - he probably needs a lift."

Even though the family has found some form of peace after the two tragedies that they endured only 8 months apart, they have taken a staunch stance against knife crime.

They said: "We felt everyone deserved to know. There is yet more to this story. My mum said shortly after all this had happened when we were understandably on the floor, we have to rebuild and we have to regrow, because if we don't he may as well have put that knife through all of our hearts - which he did."

"But that is how we have to be, if we all don't live our lives and we don't come back and make more memories, then he may as well have killed us all. We have to start again and we all will. It's just this, you think give us a break, give us a chance. We had a lovely family life. We have the most amazing parents, Sam the kids have the most amazing parents. We are very grateful we had Sam to the age of 21."

"I'm forever grateful for having him for 21 years and so is dad - he was the apple of his eye. We just want to portray the repercussions of what this can cause. It destroys families' lives. The people of Liverpool, children, teenagers their parents have to have peace of mind. They should be able to go out and enjoy themselves. You can't stop your kids going out - you shouldn't have to. So if we can try and make a little bit of a difference we will."

The family has announced that they will release information about when and here Radcliffe's funeral is taking place in a few days.