Tributes to Norwich man who helped unite Star Wars fans worldwide
PUBLISHED: 14:51 30 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:32 30 September 2019
He helped to unite Star Wars fans across the globe and today lovers of the intergalactic space saga have come together to pay their respects to Richard Walker.
Mr Walker was co-founder and president of the Norwich Star Wars Club UK which has raised thousands of pounds for charities since it was launched more than 20 years ago.
But the 69-year-old died at his Mile Cross home surrounded by family and friends, including his wife Sandra, also 69, three daughters and son-in-law Lee Nelson, 42, after losing his fight with prostate cancer on Sunday morning.
Mr Walker helped unite Star Wars fans across the galaxy after founding his World Wide Star Wars Flag of Friendship which was later endorsed by the franchise's creator George Lucas.
A family statement said: "Richard Walker was a loving husband, father, grandfather and best friend. He will be sorely missed by us all and will remain forever in our hearts. Always."
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In a statement, which has been posted on Facebook, The Norwich Star Wars Club UK said: "It is with our deepest sorrow that we inform you of the passing of our founder and club president Mr Richard Walker. Richards spirit will live on though his children and his grandchildren - no one is ever really gone."
Mr Walker, a father of three and grandfather of six, has been with his wife for more than 50 years after they met when she worked at the Zaks cafe caravan on Norwich's Castle Meadow.
Mr Walker, who was an avid Norwich City fan, worked at hotels in Great Yarmouth, sold second hand furniture, had fruit and veg shops in Norwich and even sold Christmas trees and wreaths in Mile Cross. He also ran a number of football teams, but it was the Star Wars club he will be best remembered for.
Shortly before the release of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace in July 1999 Mr Walker set up The Norwich and District Star Wars Collectors Club, later to become the Norwich Star Wars Club UK.
Since it started the club, which regularly meets at Magdalen Gates Primary School in the city, has gone from strength to strength with costume-wearing members a regular site at charity events across the county and beyond.
Mr Nelson said: "Norwich City, the Star Wars Club and his family were the three biggest things in his life."