THE widow of a medical volunteer who died of coronavirus, has spoken of her huge gratitude at the wave of tributes to her “one of a kind” husband.

Professional first-aider and former ambulance volunteer Godfrey ‘Gof’ Smith died after catching Covid-19 while helping in the community in Faringdon.

After falling ill, the 71 year-old father-of-three, self-isolated at his home in Jespers Hill, for five days, but when his condition deteriorated, he was admitted to Swindon’s Great Western Hospital, where he died two weeks later, on Saturday, April 4.

Read again: Ambulance volunteer dies after catching coronavirus while helping in community

Mr Smith was the director of Oxon Event Medics and was well known throughout Oxfordshire, providing medical cover for events at Oxford University colleges, Blenheim Palace, music events and festivals – including Truck festival, in Steventon, and Wood, near Wallingford. He also ran a mobile foot health care service called The Foot Man and was a member of St John Ambulance.

After a report of his death in the Oxford Mail, tributes flooded in from friends, acquaintances and wellwishers.

His widow Jane Smith, 67, said: “It has been incredible. There have been so many lovely things said and it has been such a comfort. He was a unique man, one of a kind, and people are going to miss him.”

Christopher Harris, commenting on the Oxford Mail website said: “I had the pleasure of knowing Gof for over 20 years. He was a regular fixture at many of the events St John Ambulance and then the British Red Cross covered in the local area.

“If you attended a public event in the late-90s or 00s, I expect Gof was there. He cared so much for what he did and was just amusing, without trying. He was the butt of many jokes – which were never malicious.

Read more: Thousands raised in memory of porters who died with coronavirus

“I remember when he argued with a tall gentleman at Blenheim over placing of a first aid vehicle. The event was the Lombard Rally in the late 90s. Gof didn’t realise the person with whom he was arguing was the 11th Duke of Marlborough.Typical Gof.

“He was a dear friend, my compadre, with whom I have spent far too many hours in various fields around this county. RIP.”

Another acquaintance, going by the name Wendlebury Woman, said: “He was an amazing guy. I had the pleasure of meeting him when he gave resuscitation training at a surgery I worked at on a couple of occasions. So very sorry to hear this. He was very dedicated to his work. A huge loss.”

Quentin Walker agreed, saying: “A massive loss to the world. Gof, thank you, RIP.”

LowRob said: “I had the pleasure of meeting Gof when he was our first aider at recent brass band contests. A lovely man, gone way too soon.”

Oxford Rob said: “Gof was a total legend and a huge loss to Faringdon. It is only right the Oxford Mail pay tribute to him. Such sad news.”

South Oxfordshire District Councillor and festival organiser Robin Bennett worked with Mr Smith at Truck festival in Steventon and Wood festival in Ipsden near Wallingford. Mr Smith was a familiar face at both, providing medical cover. Mr Bennett said: “Gof was genuinely one of a kind, He worked with us at Wood festival and Truck festival over the years.

"He sadly fell victim to the virus while, typically, helping others.”