FOR millions of music fan her name will forever be synomenous with the tale of childhood friendship that provided Pulp with the 1995 smash hit record Disco 2000.
However to those who knew and worked with Deborah Bone, she will be remembered as a pioneering mental health worker who developed ways to help young people cope with high stress and anxiety.
Ms Bone’s work in healthcare was so strong that she was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list.
Born and brought up in Sheffield and was a close friend of Pulp’s lead singer Jarvis Cocker.
She moved to Letchworth in Hertfordshire, at the age of 10 but left a lasting impression on Cocker, co much so that he penned the Disco 2000 track at the hight of their fame, recalling their friendship.
The track, released in 1995, contains the lyrics: “Well we were born within one hour of each other. Our mothers said we could be sister and brother. Your name is Deborah. Deborah. It never suited ya.”
Cocker remained close friends with her and reportedly sang Disco 2000 at her 50th birthday party.
However Ms Bone disginguished herself in the healthcare arena developing a groundbreaking visual resource programme dubbed Brainbox, as well as the award-winning Bright Stars programme used in primary schools across her home county.
She had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of bone marrow cancer, and died on December 30 – just hours after receiving the honour for her services to children and young people.
Her death was announced in a post on her blog, My Myeloma Journey, on New Year’s Day by Bone’s husband, Colin, and their daughters, Pollyanna and Jemima.
They said: “We are sorry to let you know that after a brave fight, Deborah passed away on December 30th, peacefully at home.
“She loved life and fought to the end.
“Deborah was a truly inspirational woman, always putting other people before herself. She worked tirelessly to improve the lives of those around her and it is with great pride we can tell you that in the New Year’s honours list 2015 she received an MBE for her services to children’s mental health.
“She leaves behind a loving family – her two beautiful daughters, grandson and husband who all miss her greatly and will continue to follow in her footsteps.
“As a family, we would like to thank you all for the support and kind wishes. We will be creating a book of our Mummy’s life and memories.
“Please could you share any photographs, notes or thoughts with us so together we can forever honour her memory.”
The family asked for donations to the young people’s mental health charity Young Minds as a tribute to Bone’s life and work.
Her husband, Colin, told The Comet newspaper in Stevenage: “Learning Deborah had been awarded an MBE was a very emotional experience. Her first thoughts characteristically were for the other people who helped to make her achievements possible.
“I shall be so proud to attend the MBE award ceremony on her behalf accompanied by her daughter Pollyanna who is following in her mother’s footsteps working for the NHS and already achieving national recognition.”
David Parke, children’s services team leader at Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust, said: “Deborah’s energy, passion, dedication and enthusiasm was both inspirational and contagious to all who met her.
“She touched so many peoples’ lives both professionally and collegiately with her caring and compassionate nature.”