The wife of “a wonderful husband” who spent nearly 30 years as a firefighter has paid tribute to him.

Mick Williams joined Cambridge Fire Station aged 19 before moving to Waterbeach, and also starred on the local table tennis scene.

His wife Elaine said: “Mick was a wonderful man; people loved him and he was so kind.”

Mick died aged 78 in January.

Born on March 25, 1943 in Cambridge, Mick moved to the Cotswolds to live with his aunt where he worked as an underkeeper on a farm.

But after returning to the city, where he attended three different schools, he then joined the fire service.

“He joined the fire brigade aged 19 and was one of the youngest there at the time,” said Elaine.

“We met at Cambridge Fire Station where Mick worked and played table tennis, but he also did gravedigging in his spare time.”

Mick played against former England star Paul Day, representing the likes of Cambridge City, University Press and Ely fire brigade’s table tennis sides.

“He joked and was always larking about; you can ask any fireman and they can tell you some stories,” Elaine said.

Mick married Elaine in 1984, a year after they moved to Waterbeach, and combined his work with a taste for music.

The keen guitarist was a member of Cambridge Fire Station’s band ‘The Fire Balls’, before ending his firefighter career in 1990 due to injury.

“He loved anything such as golf, squash with friends; he liked watching football and Chelsea was his team,” Elaine recalled.

“He loved motorbikes ever since he was old enough to ride one.”

As well as touring on a Honda Goldwing with Elaine, one of Mick’s other notable motorcycles was a Royal Enfield.

But it was his character that made him popular amongst fellow villagers and friends alike, including from Germany.

“I can remember we had German friends who didn’t speak English and Mick stayed up at 1am speaking to his friend,” Elaine said.

“He would talk to anybody if he didn’t even know them.”

Mick was carried on a vintage fire engine during his funeral on February 15 as many residents paid their respects as the procession passed through Waterbeach.

Elaine added: “He had a big impact as people have great memories of him.

“He was a wonderful husband; we did everything together.”

Mick is survived by brother Graham, four children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.