Outpouring of love for 'happy chappy' Chris
- Credit: Paul Brown
Tributes have been paid to Chris Brown who was the “heart and soul” of Heartsease.
“Happy chappy” Chris grew up in the city suburb and following his death at the weekend there has been a huge outpouring of love from the community.
A former pupil of Heartsease Comprehensive and Woodside Primary and Junior school, Chris was described by friends and colleagues as having a “heart of gold”.
His close friend Tracey Barr said: “He was the sort of man who never forgot your birthday – even if you didn’t bring it up.
“He lived with my daughter and I for a while and he even knew when to get her a birthday card or to suggest going out for a drink.
“He’d go out of his way for anyone. He was always the one that organised the school reunions - he just wanted everyone to be together and enjoy themselves.
"He'd go above and beyond for anyone - that's why so many people loved him so much."
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After leaving school Chris worked at Godfreys DIY - formerly in Riverside Road - before moving to the former Odeon cinema in Anglia Square in 1991.
He later went to Red’s, in St Benedicts Street, in 2001 where he worked until 2020.
For the last year he worked in Morrisons at Riverside.
His former Odeon colleague, Jon Dracup, said: “Chris always had a smile. He loved his music and football. I was never into either and we were always at loggerheads about it – but he had such a great sense of humour.
“He always had a smile for everyone. Even when he could have been gloomy he always wanted to look on the bright side.
"When he was at work he was always going out of his way for people. He wanted to go above and beyond for them, that was just him.
"We had really happy days working together - I met him when I was just a teenager. It's a testament to him that we always stayed close friends because he always made the effort to stay in touch and I wanted to."
And Chris’ brother Paul, 10 years his senior, echoed his brothers’ friends.
Paul Brown said: “When I was a teenager Chris was a little boy, so we didn’t really grow up the way a lot of siblings do.
“We were still close though. He absolutely lovely Heartsease and only moved away about a decade ago after my mother died.
"He loved that place and all the people who lived there – which I think you can tell when you read the comments people wrote on social media after he died."
He added: "My brother was always there. He just absolutely loved that community and the people in it - they were home for him."
Chris, who lived in Norwich's Holls Lane, was a lifelong Canaries supporter and spent many happy afternoons watching his team.
Paul said: "He had such a great sense of humour. One of my happiest memories was last Christmas - I've got a picture of him grinning and wearing a silly hat.
"He also absolutely loved music. He loved the likes of Depeche Mode and the Electric Light Orchestra.
"He also loved stuff like Madness and Justin Hayward."
Jon added: "His favourite song was Forever Autumn by Justin Hayward. One of the verses goes: A gentle rain falls softly on my weary eyes, as if to hide a lonely tear. My life will be forever autumn, cause you're not here.
"It seems apt for how many of us feel about Chris's passing."
Chris died aged 52 on December 4.
Social media posts to the Heartsease community pages saw hundreds of reactions with many people saying he will be "greatly missed".
Anyone who would like to raise a glass for Chris has been invited to attend the Heartsease Pub on January 14 from 7.30pm onwards.