TRIBUTES have poured in for well-known poultry farmer Patrick Joice after he lost his battle with cancer in mid September.

Mr Joice, 46, of Uphouse Farm near Fakenham, Norfolk, raised more than £50,000 for a mental health charity while battling terminal cancer and depression.

He died peacefully in his sleep on 19 September after “fighting to the end”, according to his family.

Mr Joice was given five months to live in March 2018 after being diagnosed with a salivary duct carcinoma, a rare and incurable cancer.

The diagnoses led to depression – a condition he admitted he didn’t believe in until he was encouraged to accept counselling from Norfolk-based mental health charity The Yana Project (You’ll Never Walk Alone)

To repay the charity for its help, he organised the Naked Farmer Cricket Match, which, in one day in June, raised £53,000.

His wife Zanna said: “Patrick was always striving for the best – he never did anything half-heartedly.

“He always wanted to leave a lasting legacy in farming, but I don’t think he expected it to be done in the way he has done it. 

He would have hoped to make his mark in the poultry industry and continue improving it, like his father, but in the end he has made his legacy in a way that is much more important than a general farmer. He has done it in a way that is going to help many more people.

Nick Deane, chairman of the Norfolk branch of the NFU said: “Patrick has been a significant influence, both within Norfolk and nationally, on leading innovative poultry production and promoting it to the wider world.”

Mr Joice was an NFU Poultry Board member and served as chairman of the union’s Poultry industry Programme, which aims to encourage younger generations in to poultry farming.

A service of thanksgiving will follow a private cremation at St Mary’s Church, East Raynham, at 2pm on 30 September. The family requests no flowers, but donations for farming mental health charity You Are Not Alone may be given