A self-confessed "anorak" whose love of Burton Albion, sport and statistics inspired a best-selling book, has been remembered in a touching tribute, after he died just two days after his 53rd wedding anniversary.
Chris Wood, of Yoxall, gained many fans of his own when he released a book about his beloved Brewers. Volunteers at Swadlincote's Magic Attic have even honoured him by naming their sports archive after the avid football fan who died from cancer in August.
The 73-year-old led a colourful life and his love of sport, particularly boxing and football, helped him through a gruelling battle with cancer and kidney failure.
His wife Lyn, 72, who first met the Brewers supporter at a dance, has paid tribute to the "character who always had something cheeky to say".
She said: "It was 1961 when our paths crossed in Birmingham. My sister worked with him and she would always tell me about this chap from Devon and what a character he was. We met at his work's annual Christmas dance with the electricity board. He was lovely. We were only going together a few months when we got engaged on Valentine's Day in 1962."
Their relationship was the start of something special. They married and after daughter Jane came along, the family emigrated to South Africa in 1970.
Lyn said: "We stayed for six years and had a great lifestyle. We loved it out there. Chris liked new things and new challenges but he got itchy feet and sitting in an office wasn't for him. He went to Dubai with work, Saudi Arabia and Iraq and he was very worldly wise."
Chris, who had lived in Yoxall for 33 years, was considered "quick off the mark, very intelligent and had a wicked sense of humour" by those who knew him. His intelligence saw him get into university in the fifties which Lyn said was "quite a big thing back then".
Chris's passion was always sport and history and he was involved in Gresley Rovers Football Club and Armitage Football Club until it folded.
Lyn said: "I spent many a Friday night folding football programmes and Chris was an avid football programme collector so I have got a bedroom full of programmes and books. It was a big standing joke that when he would go we would just have a massive bonfire in the garden but he always found the funny side in any situation and his passion for sport and football in particular always shone through.
"Football was his real love and before he moved to Yoxall he was a Birmingham City supporter. He played a lot when he was younger and was always a very active person. He loved his cricket too."
Chris, who was one-of-four children, was always very interested in delving into archives and it was this curiosity that led him to volunteer at the archive centre Magic Attic in Swadlincote.
Lyn said: "He loved statistics, line-ups, scores, attendances and he had so many records of FA cup finals; everything meticulously logged in alphabetical and chronological order. It was what made him Chris. He was a self-confessed anorak.
"When he started volunteering at the Magic Attic, he did some fabulous exhibitions. He was very particular about things and there is no way he would stick anything with Blu-tack, everything had to be done properly with Chris, even if it meant him doing things the hard way."
His time at the community archive centre inspired Chris to follow his dream and write his own book "Burton Albion Football Club: The Birmingham League Years 1950-58."
Lyn said: "He had all the ideas in his head. He originally wanted to do Burton Albion stats but he found some real quirky stories about the team arriving in a furniture van and light-hearted events that would be interesting for relatives to read.
"The book took him two and a half years to write and he loved every minute, digging and researching was what made him happy and he was so talented. The Magic Attic was really good to him as well.
"He wasn't computer literate and wrote everything by hand, but Gill Hiley, who is one of the other volunteers, typed everything up for him. The book was quite successful with Waterstones, Burton Albion and the Bass Brewery taking copies on to sell."
His daughter Jane Scrimshaw, 52, said her father was a godsend when she and her husband Stuart, 45, took over the Crown Inn.
She said: "When we took the pub on it was on its knees and we could not have done it without him. He was always doing odd jobs around the pub and he would stop and talk to all the villagers as they passed.
"I remember one Saturday night, the pub was full of customers and we had live music on and the drain backed up. I didn't know what to do. I called dad and he got his chimney rods and came straight out to fix it. It was absolutely throwing it down but he just got on with it, no bother. He was always there when you needed him."
Chris who was raised in Devon by his grandparents during the war, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma bone marrow cancer last year. After undergoing a back operation, his kidneys failed and he was forced to undergo months of gruelling chemotherapy and dialysis.
Lyn said: "He had never been in hospital or had an operation before and because he was always such an active person, he didn't take the news well. He was very frustrated but fought all the same."
Sadly, Chris died on August 10 at Derby Royal Hospital with his wife by his side.
Lyn said: "We have been married for 53 years and he died two days after that anniversary. I was so proud of him for making that anniversary. He kept fighting to see that day.
"He was such a character. He was a good talker when he got going and he liked to chuckle. He always had something cheeky to say."
Lyn said her husband, who had also worked as an electrical engineer in the past, was a "truly lovely man" who made the most of his varied life.
She said: "He liked being in the garden and he liked growing vegetables, he was a very 'on the go' person who had a varied life and made the most of it.
"He retired from work early to help me when I was ill and I repaid him when he became poorly. We were a team and he was a lovely man. I will never forget him."
Jane remembered her dad in a touching charity event, where she was inundated with donations from local companies to raise cash for Myeloma UK. The event, which was held at the Crown Inn, in Yoxall, hosted live music a barbecue, a head shave and racked up £3,050 in Chris's memory.