A MUCH-loved community figure died suddenly yesterday while walking his dog.
Family and friends have been left “shocked” and “devastated” following the death of Nigel Jones, clerk to Flint Town Council, Penyffordd Community Council and Leeswood Community Council.
Tributes have been paid to the 69-year-old grandfather, who has been described as a “true gentleman” and a “hero” by his loved ones.
The father-of-four from Penyffordd, near Mold, was out on his daily walk with his beloved dog, Geoff, when he died suddenly at Pontblyddyn Cricket Club, which he had been dedicated to for most of his life.
An ambulance spokesman said they were called yesterday to reports of a medical emergency on cricket grounds on Wrexham Road, Pontblyddyn and that two emergency ambulances were sent to the scene.
Mr Jones’ son, Rhys, said the club was “where he loved to be”.
Mr Jones, who had no underlining medical issues and was described as “fit” and “well”, was found shortly after 11.30am, hours before he was due to travel to Bangor to visit his daughter, Lydia.
Rhys said a post-mortem examination will have to take place but it is believed his father suffered a heart attack.
“I just don’t know what to say,” he said. “We are all devastated.
“He will be missed by the family and everyone who knew him. He was a true gentleman.
“He was a hero. Everyone has got nothing but a good thing to say about him.”
Mr Jones was described as a cricket stalwart and Roger Eltham from the Pontblyddyn club said it was an “extremely sad day” for everyone there.
Mr Jones also leaves behind Judith, his wife of 24 years, his four children, Rhys, Claire, Anna and Lydia, and six-year-old grandson Cayo.
Penyffordd councillor Colin Bithell described his death as a “tremendous shock”.
“It is the biggest shock we have had this year,” he said.
“He is going to be missed by all of us. He was involved in everything.”
He added: “I had known him for many years and he was a personal friend to me when I lost my wife.
“He was the sort of chap to speak to anyone and he always had very kind words.”
Flint county councillor Alex Aldridge said he was “absolutely devastated” by the loss.
“He was a great friend,” he said. “He was a man of immense dignity, integrity and honour.
“I don’t know how we are going to begin to replace him in Flint.
“It has knocked the wind completely out of my sails.”
Cllr Aldridge said he was talking with Mr Jones on the phone the day before he died.
“I’m absolutely devastated,” he said.
"He liked life and he adored his children.
“He was a professional person and a likeable man.
“I’m going to miss him dreadfully.”