“If ever someone had Ely written through him like in a stick of rock, it would have been Mike,” wrote Tricia Keyner.

It summed up for many how Ely has felt these past days following the death of former mayor Cllr Mike Rouse. He was 82.

“Beyond heartbroken to report that we lost our dad,” said his daughter Lauren.

“We are all absolutely devastated. He was the kindest man you could ever meet, and an inspiration to so many. My hero.”

Mike’s passion for putting Ely first, whether as a councillor or simply as someone born and bred in the city, never waned.

His family has been inundated with messages of condolence.

“Such beautiful things have been written – they have had us crying with pride,” said one family member.

“He wouldn’t believe the wonderful thoughts about him people have shared – deep down he was a humble man and never out for fame or glory.”

Funeral details for Mike, who served as mayor of the City of Ely in 1967-77 and then again from 2018-2020, will be announced later.

He leaves behind his four children Ben (29) Lauren (28) Lee (25), Cassie (23) and Max and Phil.