The family of a former Royston resident and ambulance service commander has paid tribute to their "wonderful dad" following his death at the age of 75.

Michael Frederick Thomas Saunders, known as 'Mick', died on December 27 last year, and is remembered for his career dedicated to caring for the public.

Mick was born on July 15, 1948 in Bishop's Stortford to Fred and Nora Saunders.

He grew up in Buntingford, and tried his hand as an apprentice engineer and a trainee builder before joining the ambulance service at Buntingford Fire & Ambulance Station in 1970.

Royston Crow: Mick held many roles at the ambulance serviceMick held many roles at the ambulance service (Image: Courtesy of the Saunders family)

In 1979 he moved to Royston Ambulance Station, during which time he also graduated and got a degree.

In 1983 Mick appeared on the TV show Tomorrow's World, demonstrating a new kind of neck brace with his friend and crew mate Paul Manning - also from Royston.

The same year, Mick was promoted to station officer at Letchworth Ambulance Station, and a year later successfully applied for a district superintendent's position in Chelmsford.

He received several further promotions - serving as sub divisional commander and assistant divisional commander before becoming divisional commander in 1991.

In that same year, Mick was invited by Queen Elizabeth II to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace, where he received the Long Service Medal.

Royston Crow: The Ambulance Services Benevolent Fund memorialThe Ambulance Services Benevolent Fund memorial (Image: Courtesy of the Saunders family)

His then chief executive, Gron Roberts, commented: "Mick is a very warm, caring professional - much respected by all his peers and colleagues."

Among Mick's many achievements, he helped set up the Herts & Essex Air Ambulance Charity and - as chairman of the Ambulance Services Benevolent Fund - oversaw the design, manufacture and installation of the National Ambulance Memorial in Staffordshire.

In his free time, Mick enjoyed playing golf, watching Royston FC play their home games, daily crosswords and walking with his brother-in-law and daughter around Royston and over the heath - finishing with coffee and cake.

Mick's children, Tracey and Darren, have set up a service to celebrate his life at St John the Baptist Church at 4pm on Friday, February 2.

Donations will be split between Herts & Essex Air Ambulance and The Ambulance Service Benevolent Fund charities.