'The Gentleman Policeman' - Daughter's tribute to popular beat bobby

Michael Heard had served in Norfolk Police for 30 years and was beat bobby in Gorleston

Michael Heard had served in Norfolk Police for 30 years and was beat bobby in Gorleston - Credit: The Heard family

A former police officer who loved to patrol Gorleston and meet residents on his beat has died at the age of 82.

Michael Heard had served with Norfolk Police for 30 years until he retired in 1991.

He was the beat bobby for the Shrublands area of Gorleston and prided himself on his old style policing methods.

The father-of-one was also a staunch supporter of Gorleston Football Club, which held a two minute's silence for him at their home match on Saturday, March 12.

Mr Heard, who died on March 4, had joined Norfolk Police in 1961 and as well as being a bobby in Gorleston he also worked as a sergeant in Great Yarmouth and Caister.

A cartoon drawn by a friend paying tribute to Michael Heard's time as a Gorleston bobby and football fan

A cartoon drawn by a friend paying tribute to Michael Heard's time as a Gorleston bobby and football fan - Credit: The Heard family

He was married to wife Brenda in 1965 and had lived in Stanley Avenue in Gorleston until he went into The Elms care home last year.

The couple had one daughter, Claire, who was born in 1967.

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Paying tribute to her father, she said: "His favourite time in the police was when he was the area bobby for Shrublands.

"He loved the community side of policing and was very well known. Even after retiring in 1991 he would still receive regular calls asking for advice.

"Dad always adopted what is now considered a very old style type of policing. We have had so many lovely messages from people that contained the words "kind", "friendly" and "fair but firm".

"He was apparently known at the "Gentleman Policeman."

At school Mr Heard had been a runner and he represented All England Boys and held a record for a 100 yards.

Michael Heard was a keen runner. He is seen competing at a Norfolk athletics event.

Michael Heard was a keen runner. He is seen competing at a Norfolk athletics event. - Credit: The Heard family

As a sport lover he went to his first Gorleston Football Club game when he was eight and he attended games until 2017.

Mr Heard also loved reading, with Charles Dickens being his favourite author. He also enjoyed completing crosswords and watching Westerns.

The former police officer was also an animal lover and supported the World Wildlife Fund.

His daughter added: "Dad would help anyone and always had time for everyone. He was a lovely, lovely man who is missed greatly by everyone who knew him."

His funeral service is at St Andrew's Church Gorleston on Monday, April 4 at 12.30pm, followed by a private funeral.

The Police Federation are arranging a guard of honour for the funeral service. 

Mr Heard leaves wife Brenda, daughter Claire and grandchild Emily and great grandchild Jenson.