Friends pay tribute to ‘Mr Clovelly’

Royston Johns

Royston Johns - Credit: Archant

Friends paid tribute to the former councillor described as ‘a larger than life’ character.

Royston Johns

Royston Johns - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been pouring in for a man described as ‘Mr Clovelly.’

Royston Johns, who died at the North Devon District Hospital last Thursday, was a larger than life man who gave many years of service to his local parish and to the wider Torridge community as a long serving member and former chairman of both Clovelly Parish Council and Torridge District Council.

A ward member for Clovelly on the district council from 1991-2011, he was its chairman in 2000-2001 and was elected as its first deputy leader in 2001.

Mr Johns was a proud chairman of the parish council when Clovelly won the Best Kept Village award in 2009.

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Among tributes from fellow councillors and officers, Torridge leader Barry Parsons said: “I shared many a moment with Royston during my first term as a district councillor. Royston was always prepared to help others no matter who they were or what the issue. He was regarded highly by us all and contributed greatly to this council and our communities. This is, indeed, very sad news and our thoughts, I know, will be with those dearest to Royston.”

District council chairman Andrew Eastman added: “Dear Royston was a larger than life character. After meeting with him and knowing him as we all did, you would never forget him - his long, big, white pointing beard being one of his prominent features. He is now, unfortunately, gone but he will never be forgotten.”

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Cllr Peter Christie said: “He was Mr Clovelly. He was a real character and will be much missed.”

News of Mr Johns’ death on Facebook brought an immediate wide response from a great many wellwishers, with comments and condolences for the family - “such a lovely man”… “a big part of Clovelly”…“a great loss to the community”… “the community will all miss him” …“a giant of a man in every respect” - all echoing the great respect with which Royston Johns was held.

Robin Kearney, of Clovelly Football Club, also paid tribute to Mr Johns.

He said the recent passing of the ‘Clovelly legend’ was on the minds of every player and supporter at their weekend game.

“For a man that was loved and respected by many in our community it was only fitting that we paid our respects on match day, said Mr Kearney.

“Black armbands were worn by the Clovelly players, a minutes silence was held and flowers presented to his family.

“Ex players, supporters and people from the community came to watch the game in tribute to Royston.

“Many tears were shed in what was a very emotional game. Royston loved and supported every player that put on a Clovelly shirt and was very much a popular figure amongst everyone.

“Clovelly AFC was a massive part of his life. During my 12 years at the club I have never met a more respected figure in the community.”

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