The sister of the popular county clown Mr Mudge has paid tribute after he lost his battle with cancer.
Mr Mudge, real name Wayne Oakes, passed away on Sunday (June 5) aged 48.
He entertained thousands of children across the country having been inspired by fellow clown Toby Jingles at the age of 14 at Desborough Carnival.
His sister Sonya Sage, who worked with him as a face painter, says he lived for making people smile.
She said: “He would never admit it but Wayne was a local celebrity.
“All he loved doing was making people smile.
“I remember one year we did Kettering Carnival and there were hundreds of kids shouting “Mr Mudge!”. Everyone loved him.
“One of the key things about Wayne is that he would never say a cross word about anyone and he did so much for people less fortunate than himself.
“I will miss him so much.”
Mr Oakes was diagnosed with cancer for the second time last year but still performed until Christmas.
Mrs Sage added: “Nothing much could be offered medically but amazingly he carried on working.
“He changed his routines when he couldn’t speak and mimed and used a whistle.
“We’re so overwhelmed by the messages we have received, we’re reading them constantly.
“It’s a good support to know how everyone felt about him. If only he knew how much he was loved.
“There are some lucky children up in heaven.”
Hundreds have offered their condolences on social media after hearing of the news.
Micky Bertram said: “Thinking of you all at this very sad time.
“A wonderful, courageous man who will be very much missed by everyone.
“Sending love & hugs to you all❤️xxx.”
Beccy Jacquest said: “RIP Mr mudge you were my daughters childhood, first meeting you in children’s ward when she was very poorly, you made her smile, then we had to follow you to your shows so she could see you again, you were absolutely brilliant at her birthday.
“Such sad news my thoughts and prayers are with your family.
“I’m sure you will be entertaining all the children in heaven X xxxx.”
Lloyd Groom said: “So sad to hear this news.
“He performed a number of times at our children’s birthday parties and he always went down a storm. R.I.P Mr Mudge.”
Mr Mudge leaves behind four children, daughters Jamie and Breeze and sons Joshua and Jacob, and his partner Vicky.