Stephen Massingham at a charity cake sale in aid of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, organised by daughter Maddie who runs The Fat Fairy cake business.

The family of South Wootton man Stephen Massingham, who died this week, have paid tribute to a man who was the “life and soul of a good party”. 

Mr Massingham, 48, who was well-known in the area after a career in the building trade, died last Sunday. 

He was diagnosed with lung cancer two years ago, despite being a life-long non-smoker.

His wife Hannah said: “He didn’t let that stop him in any way. He carried on enjoying himself and living life to the full.”

A range of treatments at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London kept Mr Massingham relatively well until a month ago when the cancer spread and his condition deteriorated quickly.

Mrs Massingham added: “From the time he was diagnosed, he knew they couldn’t cure it. But he was really positive – he always said you have just got to go ahead and enjoy the time you’ve got.”

Mr Massingham was born in King’s Lynn and grew up in North Lynn, attending St Edmund’s and Gaywood Park (now King’s Lynn Academy) schools. 

His father Barry Massingham was well known locally as Barry the milkman and Stephen often joined him on his milk delivery rounds.

When he left school, Mr Massingham’s trade was in artex and coving, before more recently moving into plastering and external rendering.

Mrs Massingham said: “He pretty much knew everyone in King’s Lynn. There were only one or two artexers around so Steve had artexed a ceiling for most people in Lynn.

“He knew everyone in the building trade locally and had lots of close friends through work – even after he had to give up work he could often be found socialising in the builders’ merchants.”

Mr and Mrs Massingham were married in 1991 and had three children, Jordan, 25, Maddie, 23 and Zach, 20. Six months ago, they became proud grandparents to Jordan’s son Bodhi.

The family enjoyed holidays and travelled extensively, with recent trips to Monte Carlo, Seville, Poland, Gibralta and Ibiza.

Mr Massingham loved sport and was a keen footballer and squash player in the past. In recent years he grew to love rugby, with his sons playing for West Norfolk.

He was a life-long and passionate Manchester United fan and he almost reached his dream of being a single figure handicap golfer.

His family said he also loved a flutter, whether at horse racing or at a casino.

Daughter Maddie said: “He always liked a pint and was very sociable. He could usually be found at the pub. He was the life and soul of a good party.”

Sons Zach and Jordan added: “He was the best dad we could have ever asked for – not to mention wildly inappropriate. Growing up our friends always wanted to call round to see Steve, he was most definitely one of the lads.”

Mrs Massingham said: “He would want everyone to remember him and smile, with a pint for Big Steve.”

Mr Massingham’s funeral service will be at South Wootton Church at 1.30pm on Thursday, January 10. 

Family flowers only, but donations can be made to the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. 

One of Mr Massingham’s last requests was that the family continued to raise money for the cause. 

The funeral is being arranged by Thornalley Funeral Services in Lynn.