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Baroness Masham, Paralympian and longest serving female peer, dies aged 87

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Baroness Masham, a Paralympian and the longest serving female peer, has died aged 87.

The charity she founded, the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA), said she died peacefully in hospital on Sunday.

Her fellow Paralympian, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, was among those paying tribute.

“Really sad to hear of the passing of Baroness Masham (Sue),” Baroness Grey-Thompson tweeted.

“The first Paralympian in the House of Lords. She competed in the 1960 games.”

The Paralympics GB website describes Baroness Masham as “one of Great Britain’s first ever Paralympic medallists” and a “pioneering athlete”.

The independent crossbencher, whose name was Susan Cunliffe-Lister, campaigned passionately on disability rights.

She was made a life peer in 1970.

“We are extremely sad to announce that our founder and life-long president, Baroness Sue Masham of Ilton, passed away peacefully at Northallerton Hospital on Sunday 12 March,” the SIA said.

“It goes without saying that everybody at the Spinal Injuries Association is devastated to have lost our greatest champion.

“Forty nine years ago, in 1974, she founded SIA and is the reason we have been able to champion, fight, serve and support thousands of spinal cord injured people ever since.

“Our condolences go to her family at this sad time.”

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Double Paralympian Pippa Britton, who competed on the GB archery team for 15 years, said she was “so sad” to hear of the baroness’s death, tweeting: “She competed in the 1960 Paralympics and tirelessly spoke up for disabled people.

“She was a real character and thoughts are with her friends and family.”

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