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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 June, 2004, 02:55 GMT 03:55 UK
Blackpool beach boss dies
Doris and Geoffrey Thompson
Geoffrey Thompson and his mother Doris
The managing director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach has died after being taken ill at the famous amusement park.

Geoffrey Thompson, 67, went to hospital from a private family function at the park's Paradise Room on Saturday.

Mr Thompson OBE dedicated his life to the park, continuing a family legacy by becoming boss of the company in 1976.

He took control after the death of his father, Leonard, who had replaced his father-in-law and the park's founder, William George Bean.

Several family members sit on the company's board of directors including his 101-year-old mother Doris.

Among the new rides added under Mr Thompson's stewardship was the UK's only bobsleigh ride and a spectacular 360 rollercoaster.

A statement from Blackpool Pleasure Beach said the park would remain open "as he would have wanted".

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