The widow of veteran Southend Hospital fundraiser Colin George, unveiled the revolutionary new theatre.

The former trustee of the hospital’s charitable foundation died aged 77 in July 2015.

Mr George, a “huge local figure for good”, helped raise millions for the hospital and launched the Keyhole Cancer Appeal for this theatre back in 2014.

His wife Pamela, from Hadleigh, and their children, Stephen, from Southend, and Christine, from St Albans, were there to officially open the theatre and unveil a plaque to commemorate the event.

Mrs George said: “Colin would have been delighted at seeing this theatre completed, it looks wonderful. He would have been truly honoured to have seen it named after him for all he did for the hospital, and that he was so highly regarded.

“We are immensely proud of him and although it is a hugely emotional day of both sadness and joy, we couldn’t be happier to have this laparoscopic theatre named after Colin as a fitting and lasting legacy.”

Mick Thwaites, who took over Mr George’s role, thanked all those who had helped make the theatre possible, including Gareth Walsh, director of medical and surgical business at Olympus, who also helped raise funds for the appeal by taking part in a 100-mile bike ride.

Mr Thwaites said: “We launched the Keyhole Cancer Appeal in 2014 with the Around the World in 80 Days cycle challenge which raised over £30,000 and gave us a wonderful kick-start to the appeal.

“Thank you also to the cyclists who formed part of our Ride100 charity team and successfully cycled 100 miles from Surrey to London.

“And of course not forgetting those who bared all for the naked rollercoaster fundraiser at Adventure Island in 2015, who raised £20,000.”

Mr Thwaites added: “So many of our supporters have gone to extraordinary lengths over the last few years to help us reach our target. From skydives and abseils to quiz nights, fairs and dinner dances.

“We are grateful to all of the individuals who have taken on personal challenges and the local groups such as the Rotary Clubs of Thorpe Bay, Leigh and Westcliff, who have held fundraising events on our behalf.

“It has all led to this amazing theatre, something we could not have done without the local community.”

Southend Hospital chairman Alan Tobias said: “This is a wonderful new laprascopic theatre and we recognise the invaluable contribution the foundation has made and the invaluable contribution the late Colin George made.”