TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular former Stourbridge policeman known as a "proper copper" who has died aged 76.

Retired constable Stanley Haycox - who worked at Stourbridge and Halesowen police stations, was a well-respected figure in the community.

The father-of-two and grandfather-of-four, died at his home in Hasbury on May 7 surrounded by family after suffering from prostate cancer.

His police career began in November 1962 when he joined Worcestershire constabulary.

He moved to the West Mercia force in 1967 until he was reposted to West Midlands Police in 1974, where he worked in CID for 15 years.

Mr Haycox was also a keen pigeon racer and would meet at the old pubs in Halesowen including the Beehive, Maypole, Foxhunt, King Edward and the Hawne Tavern.

He also enjoyed spending time in the Conservative Club and was known affectionately as Stan The Man.

After retirement in October 1992 Mr Haycox worked as a groundsman at Hagley Cricket Club enjoying many a summers evening watching a game enjoying a pint with friends

He was involved at Old Halesonians Rugby Club for many years as an ex-player and supportive member.

Mr Haycox was born in Tenbury Wells, moving to Halesowen in the early 60s.

His hobbies included shooting, ferreting, fishing and spending time in the countryside, where his heart always remained

He was married to Ena for 52 years - the couple had two children and four grandchildren.

His daughter Helen said: "Dad was a true gentleman known locally in the area as the man who always removed his cap when greeting people

"In later years in his police service he was the local Hasbury beat bobby and could be seen riding the streets on his old bicycle

"He was a wonderful dad, husband and grandad, who loved life to the full with an amazing dry sense of humour and always saw the good in people."

Helen said the family had been moved by tributes posted on the Halesowen Remembered Facebook site.

Mr Haycox was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017 but sadly in March 2020 his prognosis wasn’t good and he wanted to come home and spend his final weeks being cared for by his family.

Helen said: "We want to thank all the wonderful NHS staff who supported us immensely during dad's care at home, with special thanks to the Macmillan palliative care team at Russells Hall Hospital and Halesowen and Quarry Bank district nursing team who were outstanding and supportive to us all as a family."

The funeral is at Stourbridge Crematorium on Monday June 8, at 2.10pm. Close family only are allowed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The family hope to hold a celebration of his life once restrictions are lifted.

Donations can be made in his memory to Macmillan Cancer Support UK and Children with Cancer UK by calling Hickton Funeral Directors on 01384 569569.