TRIBUTES have poured in following the death of a hugely popular Stourport businessman and community champion.

Derek Fradgley died at the age of 70 following a short battle with brain cancer, leaving his family, colleagues and friends shocked and heartbroken.

His daughter Alison Phillips said he defined the term “community spirited” as a result of all the work he did away from running his own business Outlook Finance.

Mr Fradgley was diagnosed with brain cancer in June and was cared for at St Richards Hospice in Worcester in his last two weeks.

Mr Fradgley was born in 1946 in Birmingham and attended Kings Norton Grammar School. He originally started working in the jewellery and motor trade before joining finance firm General Guarantee.

He worked there for almost 30 years, progressing through the ranks to director level, before setting up Outlook in 1990 initially at Oldington Trading Estate in Kidderminster and moving to Stourport High Street in 1993.

He and wife Gill also set up Stourport Canal Craft Ltd, following the collapse of M&D Boat Builders in 2011 – taking on the former company’s four staff.

Away from his business, Mr Fradgley threw himself into Stourport community life, holding a host of roles.

These included becoming chairman of the Town Centre Management Forum, vice chairman of Stourport Rotary, a governor at St Bartholomew’s CE Primary School, a director of Stourport Forward, a member Worcestershire Community Foundation and a director of Vestia Community Housing Group.

Mr Fradgley was also vice chairman of Worcestershire Ambassadors, which aims to promote the county as a place to live, work and visit as well as raising money for charities.

He was also heavily involved with setting up Victorian Extravaganza events in Stourport as well as the lights and Three Kings’ Parade.

His daughter Alison Phillips said: “His death was quite sudden six weeks after he was diagnosed and we are all stunned. It will take a while before it sinks in.

“He defined what being community spirited is. He pulled everyone together, had a heart of gold and always wore a big, friendly smile on his face.

“He loved listening to The Archers and enjoying breaks at his villa in Tenerife but his work in the community was his hobby really.”

She added: “I have been overwhelmed by all the messages people have sent to us. The effort people have put in to send such lovely tributes have been wonderful.

“St Richards Hospice were fantastic too. Dad supported them for years and the care they gave him and support they provided was wonderful. We shall make sure donations will go there.”

Vince Hopkins, chairman at Worcestershire Ambassadors, said: “Derek will be an enormous loss to Worcestershire Ambassadors.

“He was a founder member and was often described as the heartbeat of the Ambassadors. Derek was due to take over as Chairman next year.

“I informed the membership last week and have been inundated with comments of sympathy, sadness, respect and quite a bit of humour as all have wanted to share their very own personal memories of this hugely popular and well respected man.”

Mr Fradgley’s friend and former Stourport Rotary president Pete Roberts said: “He was a great servant for Stourport and did so much for the town. I’m proud to have been a friend and colleague.”

Mrs Fradgley sadly died two years ago and he is survived by Alison, his son-in-law Paul and 13-year-old granddaughter Molly.

A funeral service will be held at St Bartholomew’s Church in Areley Kings on July 27 followed by a committal at Wyre Forest Crematorium. Flowers from family and close friends only but people may make donations for St Richards Hospice.

Mrs Phillips added that, as Mr Fradgley was colour blind and could only see the colour blue, those attending the funeral are asked to wear an item of blue clothing.