Spotted in Ely founder Mark Cooney dies

Mark Cooney

Mark Cooney, Spotted in Ely founder and social media entrepreneur, whose death was announced today. - Credit: Spotted in Ely

Mark Cooney, the man who built the hugely successful ‘Spotted in Ely’ Facebook group, has died.  

His death was announced today by his widow Alison who said Mark “passed away peacefully at home” last night.  

She said Mark, who had announced on a live-stream on Facebook that he had incurable cancer, had “fought bravely for just over six months”. 

The couple married at Ely Cathedral in February and Alison said the kind words and reaction of many “have helped me through one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to experience”. 

Mark had a prodigious gift for social media, and his efforts drew a remarkable and loyal audience to his work with Spotted in Ely.  


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He engaged with the business community, with schools, charities and his strong Facebook following, captivating many with his video efforts too that saw key events often streamed live on social media.  

News of his illness was met with profound sadness throughout Ely and beyond, and his work and talent were highly regarded. 

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Ely College also appreciated his efforts, launching a Mark Community Spirit Award earlier this year when news of his illness was revealed.  

Richard Spencer, executive principal, said that “Mark Cooney has had such a positive effect on our community through his work and management of Spotted in Ely.  

"He has led by example, and this new award will embody the community spirit that he represents.  

"His kindness, talent and enterprising commitment to the city sets a fine example to our young people as they become citizens of Ely.” 

A few days ago, the new local radio station which Mark helped to set up revealed its determination to continue and grow.  

Mark helped to set up a community interest company, Good Vibes Local, which is now the umbrella organisation for Spotted in Ely.  

Trustees said they hope to continue and build on the momentum of Mark’s work. 

Joe Hemsley-Rudd, voluntary trustee and sales manager for Spotted in Ely, said: “Spotted in Ely is an important community service that has a strong presence across East Cambridgeshire, and building and enhancing its resources is key for accelerating its growth. 

“With many local radio stations no longer running, the team felt that a new station would be a great asset to the community and the help from local businesses on our quest to make it bigger and better has been invaluable.” 

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