A Horsham man, who spent many years of his life on the streets, has been described as ‘a true gent’ by friends after he lost his battle with cancer.
Diagnosed in 2014, Trevor Knapp defied all his doctors’ predictions that he had just months to live.
He battled with the disease for about 18 months until January 22 when he died aged 50.
Trevor was a popular figure at the ARK Horsham charity’s drop in, formerly in Horsham town centre. A memorial service last week, at the Horsham Salvation Army Corps in Booth Way, reunited the ARK family once more.
The service started with the moving pop video of ‘Another Day in Paradise’ by Phil Collins, a song which Trevor highlighted as a call to help anyone in need.
Major Iain Stewart said: “Nothing was ever straight forward for Trevor. Thank goodness he had his dry sense of humour. Thank goodness for his looks that said more than words could ever say.
“He never had any money really and if he had, and hadn’t spent it already, he had given it away to people more in need than he was.”
Despite his nomad lifestyle, the proud father and grandfather worked in the garden of Knepp Castle at Shipley and was a skilled restorer of old buildings and ‘could turn his hand to anything’.
The larger than life character spent years on the streets in the Horsham, Billingshurst and Shipley areas and finally qualified for social housing after his cancer diagnosis.
Jackie Gordon, who was among the friends who cared for him leading up to his death, said: “He was determined to make his 50th on December 5. He just battled on.
“He walked all the time he could walk and just didn’t give in to it. He was in huge pain, but he didn’t moan about it.”
ARK volunteer Lisa Price said: “When he came in he always had a smile and a huge hug for the volunteers and for those close to him. He was the type of person who cheered you up no matter how he was feeling. If he met you in the street you still got that smile and hug. Trevor’s the type of guy whose presence filled a room and it will be sorely missed along with that dry sense of humour he had that you couldn’t help but love.”
Fellow volunteer Jan Walshe said: “Trev, we will really miss you. You were always around and interested in everybody, and had a hug for all us girls. Also you were always in the thick of the action, good and bad, and trying to ensure that fairness won out. “How lucky you were to have the care of your special group of friends, including Jackie, Jock, Lee and Dan.
“This showed how important you were, not just to them but to all who attended your memorial service today. It was just what you wanted.”