‘He will be sorely missed’: BAE Systems colleagues pay tribute to Alan Stafford who fell from Wightlink ferry

BIG Al, as he was known to many, is a man who will be sorely missed following his tragic death.

Alan Stafford died last month after falling from a Wightlink ferry.

Alan Stafford

Alan Stafford

Tributes have come in not just from Alan’s family, but from friends of the 58-year-old and his work colleagues at BAE Systems.

Posting on social media, Michael Billcliffe, a friend of Alan’s, says he was one of the kindest people he knew.

Read more: Alan Stafford named as man found dead in Portsmouth Harbour – here’s everything we know so far

Michael said: ‘I'm like most of the people who knew him. I am totally gutted at the loss of our friend Al.

‘Take comfort in the knowledge Algie was the loveliest bloke who was admired and loved by all who knew him and will be sadly missed - but by no means forgotten.

‘He will always be in our hearts and minds with his infectious smile.’

Over at BAE Systems, Alan worked as a crane driver in the base services team.

BAE has offered support to Alan's colleagues and extended that offer to his family.

Frank McAleer, Head of Base Services for BAE Systems at Portsmouth Naval Base, said: ‘We were deeply saddened to hear about Alan’s death.

‘Alan worked at the Naval Base for 20 years and was a most committed and professional crane driver who would happily give up his time to ensure that the Royal Navy got the support it needs to keep ships at sea.

He was a very energetic member of the team and will be sorely missed.’