Tributes have been paid to the “well-respected” business, sporting, and farming figure Terry Cracknell.

Mr Cracknell died at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital following ill-health due to aneurysms of the aorta. He was aged 83.

He was well-known for his generosity and a tenacious attitude and was also a big supporter of his community. The week before he died, he donated to a new fundraising drive to buy a piano for the church in Attleborough.

He will be remembered for his natural ability to strike up conversations with anyone, anywhere, and develop them into long-lasting friendships all around the world.

Harry Bowden, president of Diss Rugby Club, paid tribute to him.

He said: “He was a tough man but I respected and loved him for it. He has created the clubhouse and facilities that Diss RFC have today by tirelessly banging on doors to get the money. On behalf of all of us, thank you Terry – you will be remembered.”

Diss Mercury: Terry Cracknell with pigsTerry Cracknell with pigs (Image: SUPPLIED)

Valarie Watson-Brown, director of The Lively Crew, described him as having “incredible drive and determination”.

She said: “Terry earned the respect of many local business leaders and others.

“He ensured those with authority had a balanced view when it came to making decisions which could affect planning and other matters related to industry and the local community.

“He was incredibly supportive and generous to so many initiatives in South Norfolk. I don’t think there will ever be anyone quite like Terry fighting the corner for industry in the Attleborough area. He will be sadly missed at breakfast networking events as well as the town council meetings.”

MP for Mid Norfolk, George Freeman, added: “I count myself very lucky to have begun to get to know Terry and count him a real friend.

“I knew him as always larger than life, always smiling, always with a wise word and a funny aside, but also always determined to try and get the right outcome for the people and places that mattered.”

Diss Mercury: Terry Cracknell with his last long-term partner, BridgetTerry Cracknell with his last long-term partner, Bridget (Image: SUPPLIED)

His family has been comforted by the many condolences that they have received, and have shared some which reflect the community-minded man he was.

One friend and Old Buckenham resident said: “Mr C. was a big feature in my early life, working so hard on village life and to improve it for the whole community. I very fondly remember him as a force to be reckoned with, in a very positive way, and I know he will be much missed."

Another added: “I knew Terry through our parish council work, and we used to bounce ideas and solutions off each other. He was a very kind and caring man and always had a good spirit to try and help and get the best out of people. Terry was liked and respected.”

While a final well-wisher said they felt privileged to have known him.

“Terry was a fountain of new ideas and his energy, drive, and vitality worked like a dynamo to help make things happen. This, tempered by his humour and good common sense, made it a pleasure for me to work with him."

His family added: “Dad had been suffering from ill-health due to aneurysms of the aorta. More recently, it was beginning to impact his love of life and his fierce independence as he crisscrossed Norfolk, England, and the world seeing family, friends, searching out business deals, and supporting local communities and charities.

"He was taken into the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital on Tuesday, April 6, his aorta having 'sprung a leak'. It was not a surprise to him that they were not able to operate.

"He was very much at peace, happy with the full life he had lived, and ready to chance his odds at the gates of St Peter's.

“Despite Covid restrictions, we were, fortunately, able to spend special time together as a family in the hospital. He slipped away peacefully with us at his side.”

Mr Cracknell died Sunday, April 11.