A FORMER herdsman in West Oxfordshire who worked on a farm since the age of 14 has died.

John Compton started work for Jack Cook of AJ Cook when he was just a teenager and had a passion for outdoor life.

His family have paid tribute to him, speaking of his love of the countryside, nature and farm life.

The grandfather died on May 31 at the age of 87.

John Compton was born on March 13 1929 in Sutton-under-Brailes, Warwickshire to parents Henry and Nellie.

He had three sisters and was one of seven brothers.

He grew up in Warwickshire and left school at the age of 14 to start work as a general farmhand with farmer Jack Cook of AJ Cook in Stourton, near his hometown.

In 1953 he married Queenie Blowing in Shipston on Stour, and the pair went on to have their first son Martin in 1955. When Martin was 16, Mr and Mrs Compton had daughter Miranda and then son Mark one year later.

He stayed with AJ Cook even when the owner decided to move to Sutton near Stanton Harcourt in West Oxfordshire. He moved along with them, bringing his family. His first born son Martin was about 18 months old at the time.

A well respected stockman, his pedigree Friesian cattle won many shows and were sold all over the world.

After retirement at the age of 63, Mr Compton often attended agricultural shows and even spent a short time working as a volunteer farm assistant at Cogges Manor Farm in Witney.

His family said farming was his passion and his life.

He also enjoyed playing football when living in Stourton and was keen on racing. He had his own greyhounds and whippets that he would race for sport.

Mr Compton died on May 31 with his family by his side.

He is survived by his wife Queenie, his three children and four grandchildren.

His funeral will be held at St Michael's Church, Stanton Harcourt on Thursday, June 16 at 2pm followed by a burial.