TRIBUTES have been paid to a pub chef who died weeks after a fundraising event in his name raised more than £9,000.

Chris Chapman, 57, was a chef at The Two Brothers pub in Chartwell Green, where the fundraiser for Pancreatic Cancer UK was held in March.

Daily Echo: Chris and Rachel Chapman with pub manager Kelly (left)Chris and Rachel Chapman with pub manager Kelly (left)

Pub regulars and residents rallied together to support the epic fundraiser and raised £9,068.

READ MORE: Generous punters raise over £9k after chef is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer

Chris sadly died on April 18, four months after he was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.

His wife Rachel has now paid tribute to her “brave and courageous" husband.

She said: “Chris was very quiet, or he would say observant, and he had a really good sense of humour.

Daily Echo: Chris and Rachel ChapmanChris and Rachel Chapman

“His nickname was ‘Grumpy Chappers’ as he had one of those faces that never smiled. He milked that for all its worth.

“Chris always said that he always knew I was going to be the biggest challenge of his life because we are so different. We were like chalk and cheese, but it worked between us.

“Throughout his journey he was so brave. He never asked ‘why me?’.

Daily Echo: Chris and Rachel Chapman with friends and familyChris and Rachel Chapman with friends and family

“He took the card he was dealt with and got on with it. He was brave and courageous and at peace with it.”

Rachel says Chris deteriorated quickly only weeks after the fundraiser and driving a Jaguar F-TYPE, an experience gifted by a friend.

Despite this, he “kept his humour until the end.”

READ NEXT: Tributes as Totton mum-of-six dies within weeks of cancer diagnosis

Rachel said: “That’s how quickly he went downhill. One minute he was driving a Jaguar and the next he was wheelchair-bound.

“I knew that he was going to die that day.

"He said to me ‘I want to go to sleep and never wake up’.

“He kept his humour right to the very end. His biggest concern was about leaving me.

“My life has been changed forever.”

Daily Echo: Chris with his wife Rachel, his stepdaughter Rowan Heaton and grandchildren Jayce, four, and Darcie-Mae, 23 monthsChris with his wife Rachel, his stepdaughter Rowan Heaton and grandchildren Jayce, four, and Darcie-Mae, 23 months

Chris’ funeral takes place on Friday, May 13 and will be followed by a celebration of his life at The Two Brothers.

Rachel said: “We are going to do a celebration of Chris’ life and keep rattling those Pancreatic Cancer UK tins.

“I want to raise £20k by the end of the year, this is Chris’ legacy. The biggest help for me is the community and the community spirit.

“The pub is part of our community and the support I have had has been amazing.

“I can’t save him but I can save somebody else.”

Chris leaves behind his wife Rachel, his stepdaughter Rowan Heaton and grandchildren Jayce, four, and Darcie-Mae, 23 months.

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