A HUGELY popular member of the Wallingford community and the founder of the town’s Bunkfest has died after a nine-year battle with cancer, aged 66.

Grandfather Bob Wyatt, a successful runner, fisherman and adventurer, died peacefully last month.

The former landlord and plumber was well known around the area, where he lived for all of his life, and made the catch phrase ‘Stay Jammy’ so popular that a local brewery named one of its beers after it.

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He ran the Portcullis Club and Cross Keys, before a brief stint at the Red Lion in Blewberry and then at a Cholsey pub of the same name. The latter was refurbished under his guidance and will install a memorial bench in his honour – as well as one at Wittenham Clumps.

Mr Wyatt was deeply passionate about the outdoors, and loved to climb, cycle, race, hike, canoe and boat.

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Daughter Vicki Coombe, who now has a daughter Eva – aged 11 and Mr Wyatt’s only grandchild – explained: “When he was 60, he came in the top 800 in the Great North Run. Every single weekend he would be (doing activities).

“He was the most wonderful man you have ever come across (and) he knew absolutely everybody in Wallingford.”

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She added: “He always had a tale to tell. He never moaned about anything… he just would do everything that he shouldn’t do – he was like Peter Pan.

“He was just the most incredible guy.”

Perhaps Mr Wyatt’s most lasting legacy is that of music event Bunkfest, which he founded with four others in 2002, with a party under a marquee for a birthday. He became a director six years later with long-time friend and former Wallingford Mayor Colin Dolton.

Mr Dolton remembered his classmate as a ‘lovely guy’ who was ‘always joking around with a smile on his face’.

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In Facebook tributes following his death, Bunkfest wrote: “We are deeply saddened that our best friend Bob Wyatt (has) passed away; he was a legend and will be sorely missed. We will all mourn his loss but we must remember what he would have wanted us to do, in his words: ‘Stay Jammy’.”

Posting after his well-attended funeral, the festival added: “What an emotional, amazing and life-affirming day. Saying goodbye is always hard; celebrating a very special person is easy. This year’s BunkFest will be dedicated to him.”

The festival, which is now one of Europe’s largest free festivals, is set to name a stage after him this year.

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Born in Wallingford Hospital to Joan and Gerald Wyatt on May 22, 1952, he grew up in Cholsey with five siblings, Brian, now 70, Roger, 68, Carolyn, 64, Linda, 62, and Geoff, 55.

His late father had a collection of different jobs, while his mother, 90, was a housewife before working in Waitrose.

Mr Wyatt attended Cholsey Primary and Blackstone Secondary (now Wallingford School) schools, before beginning a plumbing apprenticeship aged 16 in Reading.

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Married at 21 to Penny Richards in St Mary’s Church in Wallingford, he had two daughters, Sarah, in July 1979, and Vicki, in November 1980, before three other long-term relationships.

He never remarried, but dated Lani Chesterton, who already had two children, Kate and Chloe, and later Roni Dorn, who was a mum to Faye and Sam.

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In later years he lived with partner Sue Cozens in Shillingford.

In his working life, he set up his own plumbing company in the 70s, before working at the various Oxfordshire pubs.

He died on Monday, May 17 after living with prostate cancer for nine-years, and is survived by his partner Sue, two children and one grandchild.

His funeral took place last Thursday, May 30, at South Oxfordshire Crematorium in Garford.