Long-serving BBC Three Counties Radio presenter and football commentator Ian Pearce has died at the age of 56.
He passed away suddenly at his home yesterday and was best known for his coverage of Luton Town FC.
Ian had been at the station since 1989 and also presented the Sunday morning faith programme.
BBC Three Counties Managing Editor Mark Norman told [link=http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-12906988]BBC News[/link]: "I worked with Ian for 20 years. When I arrived at the BBC from newspapers in 1991, slightly bewildered and feeling very much out of my depth, it was Ian who took me under his wing. It's no exaggeration to say that a great deal of that which I have done and of which I am very proud in those two decades has been shaped by skills Ian taught me. I'm not alone in feeling that way, I know."
He added: "Ian was many things. Witty, caring, compassionate, empathetic, sympathetic, enthusiastic, passionate and, at times, a right royal pain in the neck. He was a dear friend and we will all miss him terribly."
Tim Bishop, Head of Regional and Local Programmes for the East, said: "It felt like he'd been part of the place since the dawn of time. You name it Ian did it – commentary, journalism, documentaries, presentation including the evening regional show and ultimately Melting Pot, the Sunday morning show in Luton. He seemed to know something about everything and everything about some things."