TRIBUTES have been paid to a veteran and well-loved member of the community.
Ted Burridge from Fareham died this week at QA Hospital in Cosham.
Friend Mike Homer described his dear friend as ‘a friend to all’.
Mike said: ‘I have known Ted for about 12 years and we have always sold poppies together at Fareham Shopping Centre.
‘Everyone would always say to me ‘I have to go and buy my poppy from Ted’ and he was protective about his area near Waterstones which was quite funny.
‘He used to make six to ten thousand pounds a time which is truly amazing.
Ted, who served in the RAF at the Suez Canal in Egypt, was also a member of the National Service Veterans Alliance and every year laid a wreath at the service in Fareham.
Mike said: ‘Everyone knew Ted and he was a regular visitor to the Duke of Connaught’s Own Club.
‘Every Sunday he would have his Sunday roast and that is how we found out what happened to him as he was not there and I felt so worried.’
Ted was a cricket umpire for Gosport Borough Cricket Club and was a lifelong fan of Portsmouth FC and was alleged to have never missed a game at Fratton Park.
He played as a goalkeeper for ASWE, Olympian, Fareham United, Centipedes, Park Lane Old Boys and Achilles Sports (Gosport Sunday League),worked for many years at Fareham Borough Council and was famous with locals for his moustache.
Councillor Michael Ford remembered Ted from his time as mayor in 2015/16.
Cllr Ford said: ‘I am extremely sad to hear of Ted’s passing and he will be sorely missed.
‘I always used to see him in the shopping centre and there is not a time I can remember when he was not there to sell poppies in the lead up to November 11.
‘He was a real stalwart of the Royal British Legion and will be a hard act to follow this year.’
Ted has no immediate family and Mike Homer is acting as next of kin.
Mike added: ‘I want to give Ted a good send off – he truly deserves it.’
Details about Ted’s funeral will be released after post mortem results.