A GREAT Witley man who spent many years helping restore a rundown church has died at home aged 98.

Francis John Somers, of Camp Farm, earned the nickname Jack the Wall due to his love of building paths and walls.

He was a driving force behind the refurbishment of Shelsley Walsh church, near Clifton upon Teme, helping raise thousands of pounds after setting up a fund 35 years ago.

At the age of 65, Halesowen-born Mr Somers retired from the family steel forging business, Walter Somers, he worked for in Halesowen.

The father-of-two had survived his late wife, Sheila, who died in 1999 following a fall at their home.

He had been Worcestershire commissioner for the St John Ambulance Brigade and Deputy Lieutenant of Worcestershire.

He leaves two children, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

His son, John, said he would be sorely missed.

"He was tremendous fun but quite strict," he added.

"I think, as a boy, I was a little bit frightened of him."