A DOCTOR who 'went the extra mile' and was "a very good friend" to his patients was remembered at a packed memorial service.
Fulsome tributes were paid to Dr Richard Bamgboye in front of around 80 friends, family members and colleagues at the service on Wednesday.
Known to his patients as Dr Richard, the senior partner at Fieldway Medical Centre died suddenly in late October aged 56, leaving the local community shocked and saddened.
A married father-of-three, Dr Bamgboye lived in South Croydon and had worked at the practice for around 20 years.
Roy Simpson, chairman of the practice's patient participation group, told the service at Fieldway Community Centre: "He was not only a marvellous doctor, he was a very good friend to me.
"I miss the times he used to come in and have a cup of tea and a chat.
"He was the same at the surgery whether discussing the patients' group – we would have a very good chat.
"He was always there when you needed him. And before I start crying, that is all I have to say."
Celestine Short, a patient, described a compassionate doctor who was highly dedicated to his work and had a strong faith in God.
She said: "He was patient, he was wise. He used his wisdom in many things, because some of us would go to him not only with our ailments, but also with our family problems."
She added: "He was a humble man, a very humble man, and in fact it was after he died some of us got to know [that] other side of things.
"He was a dignified man. You would see Dr Richard from day to day; he carried that air of dignity around.
"He was a carer. He was in there doing the doctor's job, doing the carer's job, doing everything.
"He was compassionate. He tried to understand what you were going through."
Former patient Claudette Brown told how Dr Bamgboye was the only doctor she could find willing to take the time to help her.
She said: "He talked to me on the phone to ask me what I was experiencing, and he really took time out to find out what was going on, not only with my symptoms, but holistically."
The centre's reception manager Chris Heryett added: "He was like a member of our family.
"Since his passing the amount of people that have come into the surgery and told us little stories that we never knew about – he was just more than a doctor."
The patients and colleagues who organised the service thanked others who had contributed: Ifesi Anyamere, Fieldway Pharmacy; Aumex Pharmacy; Martin McColl's, Fieldway; Stanley Kelly, patient; Andrew Turner; Vanesssa Barnett at Waitrose in Biggin Hill; Joy Simpson; and Mrs Grady at the Fieldway Community Centre.