TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular Pedmore newsagent who died at the age of 57 after a long battle with cancer.

Brian Norgrove, who ran his family’s business Norgrove's Newsagents, passed away on June 30 after suffering from cancer of the lymph glands for the past four years.

Born and bred in Pedmore, the former RAF man left the air force after a number of years to take up the reins of the family business.

A lover of helping people, Brian spent a lot of his time carrying out charity work, especially for a cause close to his heart – the air ambulance.

However, four years ago he discovered a small lump under his armpit which turned out to be the first sign of cancer. Shortly after he was diagnosed, Brian had to spend most of his time in Russells Hall Hospital.

But while in hospital, he picked up an infection and due to his immune system being weak, he could not put up a fight against it.

The much-travelled biker’s aunt, Gill Eckles, paid tribute to her nephew saying he was a “very special person” who would do “anything for anyone”.

She said: “He was such a special person. All of my sisters had children but I never did, so to me he was like a son.

“Many people came into the shop because of him, he was such an interesting chap and had so many stories to tell. He was also one of the kindest people you could meet.

“The care he received from the staff at Russells Hall Hospital was brilliant. They looked after Brian so well and loved him to bits.

“As a biker he has travelled all around the world, but he loved taking his bike out to Australia where he spent a long time riding around the outback.”

Shortly after being diagnosed with cancer Brian was only given two weeks to live, which Gill said made him live each day like it was going to be his last.

She said: “He took each day of the last four years as a blessing, even though he might have found himself in pain.

“Brian was someone who would talk about his cancer. He thought cancer was something people should talk about and not shy away from, which I want to carry on now he is not here to do it.”

Hundreds of people from across the globe are expected in Stourbridge on Wednesday (July 27) for Brian’s funeral – which he planned himself.

Gill added: “His fiancé Sharon has looked after him all through his time with cancer. She was the love of his life and their bond was a really special thing, they were perfect for each other.

“As he was prepared for death, he made the arrangements for his own funeral which included a lot of Meatloaf, and he had also planned for flowers to be delivered to Sharon each week, which just shows what a wonderful loving person he was.

“He was an amazing person and we will all miss him so much."

Brian's funeral procession is going from the family's Drew Road store at 11am, before a service takes place at 11.30am at Stourbridge Crematorium. A wake will follow at Dunsley Hall.