South East Wales

Star Michael Sheen helps pay for funeral of Valleys activist

Michael Sheen and Dave Green together during shooting of a documentary Image copyright United Valleys Action Group
Image caption Michael Sheen met Dave Green during filming last year

Hollywood star Michael Sheen has intervened to stop a penniless pensioner receiving a pauper's funeral.

The actor donated an undisclosed sum in aid of Dave Green, 74, who has died from lung cancer.

The Port Talbot actor met mining activist Mr Green while filming the BBC Wales documentary, Valleys Rebellion in Newport.

Sheen stepped in after being told that he had died without any family or money to his name.

Sheen said it was "my honour" to help Mr Green who he described as "a character".

Impact

He said on Twitter: "Dave died last week of lung cancer. He was 74. He had no family and no money.

"I've been told he faces a paupers funeral. It's my honour to help.

"He made a big impact on me. Someone, in other circumstances, whose voice could easily have been ignored."

Mr Green was a vocal anti-opencast mining activist from Pontlottyn, in the Rhymney Valley, who featured in Sheen's BBC documentary marking the 175th anniversary of the Chartist march for political reform.

After hearing the news, Sheen made a personal donation and asked his 230,000 Twitter followers to help.

So far more than £1,000 has been raised for a funeral and headstone.

Gaynor Morgan, of Pontlottyn, who knew Dave Green well, said the contribution of Michael Sheen to the funeral fund was "absolutely amazing".

She described Mr Green as "lovely and definitely a character. Once you knew Dave you never forgot him. And once he got his teeth into something he never let go."

Mrs Morgan said she and members of the anti-opencast mining group United Valleys Action Group were shocked to learn that he would not have had a proper funeral if the money had not been raised. "Now he's going to get a nice funeral - one that he deserves," she said.

Group chairman Terry Evans, of Merthyr, added: "Michael Sheen's contribution has been dramatic. He remembers Dave and he made a mark on him."

Image copyright TWITTER

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