A senior figure at the care home where Lord Attenborough spent his last few years of life has paid tribute to her 'mentor and friend'.
Lalla Ward, chair of trustees at Denville Hall, in Ducks Hill Road, Northwood, spoke to getwestlondon today (Tuesday) following the loss of the actor and director who died on Sunday (24) five days short of his 91st birthday.
She said: "The death of Lord Attenborough is a fantastic loss to the country, but to me personally as I have lost a mentor and a friend.
"All of us here at Denville are devastated to have lost our president, someone without whom this place simply would not be where it is today.
"He took it on, kept it going and inspired us all to follow his example.
"He gave so much to so many people, but to us he gave everything."
Ms Ward also recalled a special moment in 2012 when Lord Attenborough received three unexpected visitors to the home shortly before he moved in permanently to live with his wife Sheila Sim.
Following his beloved Chelsea FC's thrilling Champions League triumph (beating Bayern Munich on their home turf in Germany 4-3 on penalties) the massive trophy was brought to Denville as a surpise.
It was carried by chief executive Ron Gourlay and chairman Bruce Buck who had been part of a boardroom decision to make the touching gesture.
A Chelsea spokesman told getwestlondon: "Lord Attenborough meant a huge deal to this club and especially to the players like John Terry and Frank Lampard who met him many times and loved hearing all his stories of seven decades supporting Chelsea.
"It really helped connect them to the history of the club and on one occasion following winning the league Lord Attenborough had taken the senior players aside and told them to keep on winning because it meant so much to fans like him.
"That was why the board decided, after our first triumph without him present, that they would bring the trophy to him.
"They spent four hours at the home that day talking with Lord Attenborough and his wife and letting them admire the cup.
"That shows how much he meant to us."