Express & Star

'He was always smiling': Tributes paid to well-loved Cradley Heath postmaster who has died aged 64

Tributes have flooded in for a well-loved Cradley Heath postmaster who has died aged 64.

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Hundreds of people have left messages in tribute to the postmaster on social media

Ishtiaq Hussain, or Junior as he was known to most, died on February 1 after losing his battle with advanced prostate cancer.

The father-of-two, who lived in Cradley Heath, became postmaster at the Old Hill Post Office on Halesowen Road in 2000, taking on the same role at the Cradley Heath Post Office on Cradley Road just a couple of years later.

"Junior" was postmaster at the Old Hill and Cradley Heath post office sites

Mr Hussain's daughter, Amber, described the post office sites as being her dad's "babies", adding that he hadn't had a day off sick in 20 years of service until his cancer diagnosis in 2021.

In a touching tribute to her dad, the 31-year-old said: "I think we are all missing his happiness at the minute. He was always smiling no matter what was going on. He was the best dad.

"He gave us everything and taught us everything. He was a man of many talents – he would put his hand up for anything.

"There were people who used to come off the street and say they wanted his help and that is something we want to continue to do in his memory – we want to keep that alive.

"He was not just a postmaster, he was everybody's friend. He had so much respect for people that they opened up to him.

"If he needed anybody, he had such a good relationship with the whole community. He managed to win over the hearts of everybody."

In the days following his death, flowers adorned the doorstep of the Old Hill Post Office as the community came to to terms with the loss of their beloved postmaster.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people took to social media to leave messages in tribute.