Tributes have been paid to a "fantastic" dad who was always there for his family.

Debbie Sandford has paid tribute to her dad, Richard Biggs, from Dereham, who died on April 25 after complications due to his oesophageal cancer, aged 74.

Mrs Sandford said: “He leaves behind a heartbroken family and many friends. Dad was a real character and will leave a huge hole in our lives.

“He lived life to the full and taught us all to enjoy every minute.

Dereham Times: Debbie Sandford has paid tribute to her dad, Richard BiggsDebbie Sandford has paid tribute to her dad, Richard Biggs (Image: Biggs Family)

Mr Biggs was born in Shrewsbury and raised in Great Yarmouth. He started his working life at the ABC cinema in Yarmouth where met stars such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and Jimmy Tarbuck.

He also met his future wife, Ann, while working at the cinema. The couple moved around Suffolk and Norfolk working on various chicken farms and having three daughters, Tracey, Debbie, and Hayley.

Later in life, Mr Biggs started working offshore on gas platforms in the North Sea.

He rose to the position of crane operator, and worked on a deep-sea drilling ship, The Discoverer of the Seven Seas, for the firm Transocean.

Dereham Times: Richard Biggs would help out at The Railway Tavern in DerehamRichard Biggs would help out at The Railway Tavern in Dereham (Image: Biggs Family)

Mr Biggs later worked in the Netherlands, where he had two more daughters, Kate and Carla, before returning to the UK.

In Dereham, he often helped out at the Railway Tavern, which is run by his son-in-law, Paul Sandford.

“We all had a fantastic and adventurous childhood, and our dad made this possible,” Mrs Sandford said.

“He worked extremely hard and played even harder. He was always there for his family which meant more to him than anything.

"A one-off character who will be missed by all that knew him - we will miss him dearly.”

Mrs Sandford said she wanted to thank everyone who had offered their wishes and support.

Mr Biggs' funeral will be at St Nicholas Church on Friday, May 12 at 1.30pm, followed by a celebration of his life at the Railway from 3pm.