VILLAGERS have paid a tribute to a stalwart of their community after he passed away last week.
The body of Mike Duffy was found at his home in Main Street, Marchington, on Wednesday, August 6.
Mr Duffy had been a pillar of village life for decades, volunteering at the community shop, playing for the old Marchington Cricket Club and regularly attending the village’s catholic church before it recently closed.
He was also a well-known face and a regular at Marchington watering hole The Bull’s Head.
Tributes have flooded in from friends and colleagues, who have saluted a ‘lovely, friendly guy’ who ‘always found time to help people’.
Solicitor Phil Taylor, who took Mr Duffy into his Bag Lane home for five months after the 72-year-old suffered an aneurism in 1999, told the Advertiser he was ‘saddened’ by the loss of his ‘great friend’.
He said: “I went to the village shop on the Wednesday and was told he hadn’t turned up for his shift, which made me think something might be wrong as he was vehemently committed to the project and backed it from day one.
“Then I later got a phone call to receive the sad new that he’d been found dead.
“I got on with Mike very well. He was an extremely reliable friend and had been my financial advisor for years. I trusted him implicitly.
“He had a great social life and was a regular in the Bull’s Head, where he was extremely well-known and liked.
“Mike was always a lover of telling jokes and he became renowned for making punters laugh in the Bull.
“He was a warm, friendly man and the village will certainly miss his presence. He was a devout catholic and regularly attended the Marchington church until it closed, which really upset him.
“After that, he was a regular in the congregation in Uttoxeter.”
Mr Duffy worked in the insurance industry for most of his working life but latterly worked as a driver taking elderly and immobile patients to hospital appointments across the UK.
But he was best known in Marchington for his tireless voluntary work for the community shop.
Reg Hussey, chairman of the shop’s board of trustees, said: “The totally unexpected death of Mike has come as a great shock and as a great sadness too.
“He was a great asset to the shop and was one of the early volunteers.
“He served regularly for two hours every Tuesday morning and, unlike some of us, had little trouble in working the till.
“He was well liked and, so I am informed, often had lively conversations with the management.
“He was an innovator of ideas some of which were taken up by the shop committee.
“Mick was well known in the Bull where many of us first made his acquaintance.
“Always with a smile on his face, he was one of those people whom, when you walked into a room, you were pleased to see was there.”
Mr Duffy leaves behind three grown-up children and three grandchildren.
Funeral details are yet to be confirmed.