PICTURE GALLERY: Warm tributes are paid to an inspirational Cystic Fibrosis Trust fundraiser from Thorpe St Andrew

Tributes have been paid to an amazing fund-raising champion who collected more than �150,000 for charity by standing outside Norfolk stores with a collection bucket.

William Bradley, 86, was well known for his enthusiasm for supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Trust after his granddaughter Natalie Bradley, now 22, was diagnosed with the condition. Accompanied by his hand-made Thomas the Tank Engine and collection of toys, Mr Bradley tirelessly stood outside supermarkets, garden centres and DIY stores in all weathers. In 17 years he single-handedly raised �152,420 for the charity.

Mr Bradley, who only recently announced his retirement from fund-raising after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease, died peacefully at his home in Furze Road, Thorpe St Andrew, on Sunday.

He leaves behind his wife Joan, three children, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

In a joint statement the Bradley family said: 'He will be sadly missed and we are so proud of him. There is going to be a huge hole left in our lives. He achieved so much. He was a great personality and a great man. He was an inspiration to everybody.'


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Christine Berwick, secretary of the Norfolk CFT branch, said the trust wanted to send their sincere condolences to Mr Bradley's family. She said: 'He has made a huge contribution to research into this difficult illness, and this has benefited cystic fibrosis patients throughout the country and also specifically in Norfolk. All of us connected with the Cystic Fibrosis Trust have lost not only a great fund-raiser, but also a very good friend as well.'

Sandra Howarth, the CFT's fund-raising manager for the east, said: 'It is incredibly sad we have lost such a wonderful, generous man, who devoted so much of his time and energy to the work of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. He achieved so much and enabled so much to be achieved through his fund-raising.

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'Mr Bradley is going to be dearly missed by people in Norfolk and also people across the country who have followed him over the years and heard about his fund-raising. We have always given updates in our trust fund-raising magazine about Mr Bradley and his efforts.'

In 2008, Mr Bradley was named Volunteer of the Year in the Norwich Evening News Local Heroes Awards. Last year he was a regional finalist in the Pride of Britain awards. Mr Bradley's family also called for Mr Bradley to be made an MBE for his dedication to fund-raising.

Details of Mr Bradley's funeral are still being finalised.

A CFT fund-raising day in Mr Bradley's honour at Waitrose Norwich in Eaton will still take place on February 24.

Visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk for a gallery of Mr Bradley's fund-raising efforts throughout the years.

For more about CFT visit www.cftrust.org.uk

Would you like to pay tribute to somebody? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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