Tributes to 'cheeky chap' soldier

A soldier who died more than two months after being injured in an explosion in Afghanistan has been described as "a blond cheeky chap" who was devoted to Bolton Wanderers FC.

Corporal Jack Stanley, 26, from The Queen's Royal Hussars (The Queen's Own and Royal Irish) died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on Sunday, after he was caught in an explosion from an improvised explosive device (IED) on February 3.

The soldier, from Bolton, was a section commander who deployed to Afghanistan with C (Coriano) Company, Combined Force Lashkar Gah (The Queen's Royal Hussars Battle Group) in October 2011.

He leaves his mother Brenda, his father Tom, sisters Rachel, Larissa, Joanne and his girlfriend Sarah.

Paying tribute, Cpl Stanley's mother said: "Jack was a kind, generous lad with a ready smile. His dedication to his regiment was equalled only by his passion for Bolton Wanderers Football Club. He fought so hard to stay with us and the devastation we feel cannot be described. The world is duller without him and heaven brighter."

Lieutenant Colonel Ian Mortimer, commanding officer of Combined Force Lashkar Gah (The Queen's Royal Hussars Battle Group) said junior soldiers aspired to be like Cpl Stanley. "Cpl Jack 'Stan' Stanley joined The Queen's Royal Hussars in December 2003. Right from the beginning he made a huge impression.

"We have lost a most outstanding soldier who was an inspiration to all. Junior soldiers aspired to be like Stan...Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this most difficult and tragic time. We will remember him."

Sergeant Jonathan David Hillary, 1 Platoon Sergeant, C Company, Combined Force Lashkar Gah (The Queen's Royal Hussars Battle Group) said Cpl Stanley would be missed by the whole platoon. "Jack was a blond, cheeky chap from Bolton who would do anything to preserve as much of his hair as possible without getting caught!

"More importantly though he was a soldier to respect and follow. He was, and will be remembered as, a great leader to his young soldiers and respected by his commanders. I have had the privilege of commanding Jack for the past 18 months and it has been the best time in my 13 years of service. Jack will be missed by the whole platoon and there is now a hole in the hearts of all of the men who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers are now with his family and loved ones at this time. We will never forget."

Cpl Stanley was treated in Afghanistan and the UK after he was wounded on February 3 in the bomb blast. He died surrounded by his family, the Ministry of Defence said.