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By Harriet Ernstsons Wednesday 09 January 2013 Updated: 10/01 15:55
A MUCH loved Redditch character who has been ever present in the town centre for decades has passed away.
Richard Wiseman was well known to thousands, spending most of his afternoons in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre near WHSmith talking to shoppers and entertaining them with the latest chart-topping songs.
The Church Hill resident, believed to be aged 62 when he passed away on Saturday (January 5), was born in Birmingham but came to live in the borough in his 20s.
Hundreds of residents took to Facebook and Twitter to express their sadness at his death and a book of condolence will be available to sign from 1pm on Wednesday (January 9) at the information stand in Worcester Square in the centre for people to sign.
Wayne Brooke, branch manager at Timpson in the centre, said staff at the store wanted to design a plaque to honour Richard and were in talks with centre management about whether or not it was possible. A group of residents have also planned to meet in Church Green on Saturday (January 12) at 1pm to pay tribute to him.
A centre spokeswoman said: "Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Richard at this sad time.
"Richard was a friendly face within the Kingfisher Centre and will be missed by both staff and customers."
Staff at Co-Op Travel described him as a 'legend' who had brightened up their working days, always making sure he said goodbye to them before he left the town centre for the day and telling them about his routine which included always tuning in to the Radio 1 chart show on a Sunday.
He became well known in the centre for singing, with the Kaiser Chief's Ruby being a particular favourite of his.
Clare Williams, from the Co-Op, said: "He was never a nuisance and would come in here to sit with us and have a cup of tea.
"He would also listen to the charts and tell you who was number one. He was great, all of the customers knew him and he became part of our working day."
A statement from the Wiseman family said: "We would like to thank everyone for their very kind comments but as you can understand this is a very upsetting time for us and although people are missing him so are his family.
"We would just like to ask people to respect our privacy and that the funeral will be a family affair only."
Here are just some of the hundreds of online tributes to Richard:
Charleyy Barker - He always managed to make people smile with his chatty personality. God bless <3
Ruth Watson-Morris - A well loved character whose presence will be missed by all, with love to his family and friends at this sad time.
Claire Readman - Ruby ruby ruby! He sang this to everyone such a happy chap never failed to make me smile. X
Gemski Portlock - R.I.P Lord Redditch, always made me smile when I saw you, shouting 'you're fired' at me lol. You will be missed by many xx
Rebecca Whitby - God bless him such a sweet, sweet man he always made me smile, will miss him. The Kingfisher will not be the same without him RIP Richard x
Luci Ridgewell - Whsmiths just isn't the same anymore. Am up town now and it just doesn't seem normal as every other time I have been here I have seen you without fail. You will be missed by so many. Thoughts go out to you and your family. R.I.P Richard x
Tracy Earp - R.I.P Richard, you are going to be missed, like its been said for so long, if you have not seen Richard you have not properly seen Redditch. x
Zac Howell - rest in peace Rich, a truly legendary funny bloke who will be missed by many of Redditch, town isn't gunna be the same without him :(
Maria Padgett - R.I.P. Richard you will be sadly missed. You always made us smile no matter how blue we felt xx
Gaz Mitchell - R.I.P Richard the Kingfisher Centre will not be the same. You were as much a part of the centre as the shops were, and I say that with kindness. God bless you.
Nicky Latham - I wish more people could be like Richard, always a smile and a friendly hello and banter. RIP you will be missed x
Karen Brind - He touched so the lives of so many in Redditch without probably being aware, it will not be the same walking past WHSmith and not seeing him, had a smile and a song for everybody, RIP Richard, one of Redditch's colourful characters x
Russell Beddoe - So sad to hear this news, great character. Been standing in the Kingfisher since I can remember! Whenever he saw me he would tell me how many winners he had had. Lovely bloke will really miss him not being there. RIP.
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