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Family pay tribute to golfer

PUBLISHED: 16:00 29 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:36 03 March 2010

THE loving family of an Ipswich grandfather who "lived for golf" today paid tribute to the man they described as "over generous, highly intelligent and always ready to help.

THE loving family of an Ipswich grandfather who "lived for golf" today paid tribute to the man they described as "over generous, highly intelligent and always ready to help."

Michael Evans, known as Mick to his friends and family, collapsed and died from a heart attack last Saturday morning.

He had gone away for a golf weekend to Cromer and had been preparing for his day's round when he suffered a massive heart attack. His friend found him slumped on the bathroom floor.

Mick, only 51, was a dad of five, and five weeks before his death had become a grandfather when daughter Sarah had given birth to Olivia.

He had lived in Ipswich for all of his life, going to school at St Matthews and Priory Heath. He started an apprenticeship at Cranes, on Nacton Road, and eventually became an electrical software engineer. He worked all over the world, taking up contracts for multi-national companies such as Coca-Cola and Guinness.

Today, his fiancée Caroline, joined with other close members of his family to pay tribute to him.

"When I met Mick it was just incredible," she said. "There was just something about him and we had this spark.

"He would have definitely left broken hearts, women loved him. He just had this persona and personality - he attracted people to him. And he was always ready to help anyone. He always had time for people."

Mick's mum, Audree Buxton, said: "He had this saying, which was 'work hard, play hard,' and that is what he did.

"I think he was so busy that he used to fit in his fun whenever he could. But he lived for golf. I always remember he had this pet saying, which was like the Churchill dog on the insurance adverts. He'd just nod his head and go `Ah yes.' People even called him Churchill!"

His stepfather, Ron, said: "Everywhere he went he managed to fit in a round of golf. But we were all proud of him, and he never had a bad word to say about anybody. He did try a couple of other jobs, but was very good at what he did."

Brother Stewart said: "He was a great sportsman, he'd beat me at everything, and he was highly intelligent. He gave you time, that was the best thing about him. He had family in Weymouth and they told us that he would always say "the miles don't matter". He was over-generous and a very giving person."

Rushmere Golf Club have now named a cup after Mick, who has played golf for nearly 15 years, and met his fiancée Caroline there.

As well as Caroline, Mick leaves behind five children, Steven, 30, Sarah, 26, Mark, 25, Samantha, 16, and Christopher, 14; his mother and stepfather, his father and stepmother, two brothers Stewart and Neill, and his grandchild.

The family are holding an open funeral next Thursday, inviting anyone that wishes to pay their respects to Mick. The service will be held at St Augustine's Church, Ipswich, at 11.30am. They request that no flowers are sent, but donations are made to the British Heart Foundation and forwarded to the Co-operative Funeral Service, 10, Upper Orwell Street, Ipswich, IP4 1HW.

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