Tributes paid to skydiver killed in Walsall house fire

Tributes have been paid to a 'wonderful caring' skydiver who died when a fire broke out at his home.

Roger Still
Roger Still

Roger Still, aged 63, was found at the property near Walsall on August 3. He had been a keen diver who completed 50 jumps before being struck down by illness.

The former Sandwell Council housing officer suffered from severe multiple sclerosis and was recovering from a heart attack when he died Sunday last week at his home, in Brackendale Drive, Yew Tree on the Walsall-Sandwell border.

It is thought the fire was started by a discarded cigarette. Mr Still's sister Jenny Craddock, aged 44, of Redditch, said: “In his younger days he did 50 skydives and used to skipper barges. He used to be a really active person with a great sense of humour.”

She said he had come out of hospital three weeks ago and that he would be sadly missed by the family.

A message on his Facebook page reads: “RIP. Loved and missed by Pam, Derek and Jenny. Also by his father Les.”

Mr Still, who used a motorised wheelchair, worked at Sandwell Council for 23 years until 2012. He worked at Great Bridge Housing Office and later joined the anti-social behaviour prevention team. Paying tribute former council colleague Pam Kaur said: “When I first met Roger, he was a very private person and kept himself to himself because of his mobility issues, due to his multiple sclerosis. But I got to know him well, he was a most wonderful, caring man and became a good friend of mine.

“He was a hard working and very determined person, despite his illness. He was a fighter and never wanted to fail. We shared many a coffee, a dairy milk chocolate and cigarettes during breaks I will always remember the jokes and laughter we shared. He had a wonderful smile.

“He was very knowledgeable about different cultures and loved to share his life experiences with people whether it was his sky-diving exploits or talking about his love of reggae music, his favourites were UB40 and Bob Marley.

“He was a true friend and will be missed by those that knew and worked with him.”

West Midlands Fire Service said the fire is believed to have been started due to ignition from smoking material. The coroner has been informed.