Tributes paid to popular Ipswich punk Jim Jimmy James
PUBLISHED: 16:30 09 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:50 09 January 2020
Tributes have been paid to a 'courageous and inspirational' Ipswich punk rocker who has died following a year-long battle with cancer.
Former drummer and roadie Jim Kocher, known to many as Jim Jimmy James, died on January 3, aged just 52.
In Ipswich, he was best known for his time drumming for The Threat and was a key part of the local punk scene before heading across the pond to California.
Jim had moved stateside to support the Ipswich-based punk group The Adicts as a roadie at the height of their fame, before finding love and forming the The Dirty Priests band with newfound friends.
Sadly, his partner Luz Herrera lost her life to cancer in 2018 - just months before Jim's diagnosis - which inspired him and fellow bandmates to regularly fundraise for her family and cancer research.
Wishing to live his final days in his hometown, Jim returned to Ipswich in December last year before being admitted to St Elizabeth Hospice during his final battle with the disease.
Friend Darren 'Daz' Monroe, who is fundraising to support Jim's funeral, said: "Jim was a familiar face to everyone in the Ipswich punk scene and who never had a bad word to say about anybody. It's only been in the last few days I've realised that not one person had a bad word to say about him either.
"I remember the first thing I saw when he came home was a post about watching Match of the Day. He loved his football and was mad for Ipswich Town.
"Jim was smiling and laughing right to the very end, which is no less than what I would expect.
"Throughout Christmas and New Year, his family and friends kept him company and kept his spirits up, and throughout his entire journey he remained tremendously courageous.
"He was an absolute inspiration who everybody loved."
Mr Monroe had previously set up a fundraising page to help cover Jim's medical fees in the USA, which saw more than £5,000 raised by family and friends.
Friends are now organising a motorcycle escort for Jim - himself a keen rider who collected vintage bikes - for his funeral on Wednesday, January 22.
A GoFundMe page set up by Mr Monroe has raised more than £1,700 of its £5,000 goal.
Those who wish to donate can do so here.