Tributes have been paid to the 'most caring and kindest' man who was able to tick items off his bucket list before his passing.

Gary Battle, a lifelong Ipswich Town fan from Lowestoft, died on Friday, April 5, from a brain tumour.

Gary had been a season ticket holder at Portman Road for many years, going to games with his wife Nina, growing a community of friends who all sit together in the D4 section of the ground.

Ipswich Star: Gary with his wife NinaGary with his wife Nina (Image: Submitted)

Steve Kirby, from Ipswich, who previously described Gary as his "football brother", said: "He was possibly one of the kindest, most caring people you could ever meet.

"He always just wanted to make sure other people were happy, even with what he had, it was always about other people.

"Anybody who met him, just fell in love with his character, he was very funny.

Ipswich Star: Gary with his friend Steve Kirby (left)Gary with his friend Steve Kirby (left) (Image: Steve Kirby)

"He was a bit clumsy too, you could always tell he was coming in to the games with his scooter because he would crash into something while he was carrying doughnuts to give to people.

"He was just a such a generous soul, very loving and he was absolutely obsessed with Ipswich Town."

Before his death, Gary had a wish list of things he would like to do before he passed, with many of these experiences ticked off.

Friends and family had been determined to do so after Gary thought he may not see the Blues clash with rivals Norwich City in December.

Ipswich Star: Gary Battle had been a season ticket holder at Portman Road for many yearsGary Battle had been a season ticket holder at Portman Road for many years (Image: Steve Kirby)

He was able to go and sit in corporate seats at Portman Road after an unnamed organisation offered him some seats for the match against Coventry City back in December.

He had also built up a bond with his favourite player, Wes Burns and Luke Woolfenden, waving to them at every home match, with the Town players waving back at him.

He was able to meet them and the rest of the players and staff after Steve had organised to take Gary to the training ground to have lunch with the team and watch them train at Playford Road.

Ipswich Star: Gary chatting to Luke WoolfendenGary chatting to Luke Woolfenden (Image: Submitted)

Ipswich Star: Gary meeting Conor ChaplinGary meeting Conor Chaplin (Image: Submitted)

Gary's last match was the FA Cup fixture against Maidstone United in January, which he really enjoyed.

He caught Covid after this match, and his health rapidly deteriorated.

Gary's other hobbies included stock car racing and having meals with friends.

Steve is trying to organise a minutes applause for Gary, in the 52nd minute of Saturday's game against Middlesbrough at Portman Road, the age he was when he passed.

Ipswich Star: Gary with Jeremy SarmientoGary with Jeremy Sarmiento (Image: Submitted)

He said: "He was such a big Ipswich Town fan. When he was diagnosed, I told him he would see us getting promoted out of League One, which he did.

"I said the same again this season, and we almost got there. He absolutely loved his football.

"Let's pay our respects to a lifelong blue and show his wife Nina how much our fans appreciate another lifelong fan.

Ipswich Star: Gary Battle at Portman RoadGary Battle at Portman Road (Image: Steve Kirby)

Gary had even made his own arrangements for his funeral, wanting everyone who attends to wear a football shirt of whichever team they wished.

Another of his wishes was that people could raise money for both St Elizabeth Hospice and the Ipswich Town Foundation, both very close to his heart.

Ipswich Star: Gary and Steve with some friends and family in hospitalityGary and Steve with some friends and family in hospitality (Image: Submitted)

Saturday's fixture is also the club's designated Ipswich Town Foundation Fixture, with money being raised inside and outside the ground throughout the day.

The link to raise money for the St Elizabeth Hospice in Gary's honour is here, while the Ipswich Town Foundation link is here.

Ipswich Star: Nina and Gary at Portman RoadNina and Gary at Portman Road (Image: Steve Kirby)