TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular and well-known Ledbury man who died recently.

Emilio Ponti, who first came to the town in 1941 as an Italian prisoner of war, died on Tuesday, July 12 aged 90.

Originally from the city of Mantova he briefly returned to Italy in 1946 and came back to Ledbury two years later once he had been granted British nationality. He married his wife Sybil in the town’s Catholic Church.

A keenly political man, he was a member of the Labour party and was a committed union man during his working life, which took in spells at Ledbury British Canners, the Metal Box in Worcester, Ledbury Preserves and Dowty Seals in Ashchurch.

Mr Ponti, who is survived by his two sons Paul and Roy, was known in his retirement for his fund-raising and work as an author.

Roy said: “He was so well known around the town. Right up to the end he was a star, he was just a wonderful man. He just loved his politics, even up to the day before he died he was asking me what were the current affairs.

“People were always knocking on his door asking if he could help them and he always did it. They loved the old boy and he loved them.”

He also sat on the town council and acted as the president of the Ledbury walkers’s club.

His funeral will take place in the Church of the Most Holy Trinity, in New Street, on Monday, July 25 at 2pm. Family flowers only and donations to Macmillan Cancer Support are welcome.