Ron Noades passed away on Christmas Eve after a battle with lung cancer.
His wife Novello Noades wrote the below tribute for her husband on the day of his funeral.
Mrs Noades’ tribute includes extracts from her journal which she kept after her husband was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2012.
"I was a young student when fate put Ron Noades in my path. It was the 2nd of January 1978, 36 years ago today to the day. The best day of my life. Today is the worst. I have lost the person who I know loved me more than anything in the world and worshipped me. He protected me. I loved him so very much.
He had asked me to marry him the day after we met and we have been together ever since. I cannot begin to describe the emptiness and pain I feel inside. I have lost my world and I am devastated. There is a void and I cannot imagine how it will ever be filled.
Ron was a larger than life character, an incredible person. We have had the most wonderful journey in life together. We did and saw so much together. We have taken knocks but we have always bounced back. Sport played a major part in his life - particularly football and cricket - and of course golf which he loved with a passion.
He was a driving force in the sports world that few could equal. The fabulous memories of Crystal Palace and the hedonistic days when he was Chairman there will live with me for ever. He adored family life and lived for providing for his family. He believed in justice and fair play. He was the kindest, most honest and fair man who would never renege on a deal. He was incredibly generous, both with material things and of spirit. He was straight and genuine.
He was brutally honest, always giving a straight answer. He strived to do the right thing, never concerned with doing things for the sake of being popular. Such a brilliant man with a superb brain, so methodical and ethical. He had the most steady character and never held a grudge. He was a wonderful friend and ally.
His perception, loyalty and integrity were evident to all those who had the good fortune to have dealings with him. He had a big heart. He possessed the most wonderful sense of humour and his quick wit was legendary. He willingly helped so many and had such a positive impact on so many lives. He remained positive until the end.
I have kept a journal since the day Ron was diagnosed with lung cancer last November. Here are a few extracts which show his extraordinary way of accepting things - He even told me how he wanted his funeral plans to be.
27th November 2012 - after being given the devastating news that he had lung cancer, "Ron asked the consultant if he would be able to play the piano. The consultant looked somewhat bemused and said yes - obviously hadn't heard the joke - and Ron said 'oh that's good as I couldn't before'. Strange thing humour. I joined in and repeated a joke I had heard on the radio earlier that day. 'Did you know Dubai don't broadcast the Flintstones - but Abu Dhabi do!' I thought it was funny anyway. Strange how you react when in shock"
Bank holiday Monday 27th May 2013 "I Woke around 4 am feeling scared. Ron has got weaker in the last few days.
Most people would be crying in their porridge, but Ron is carrying on as normal. I told him I was scared. He said there's no point being scared. That was typical Ron. It was comforting to know that he wasn't scared."
23rd December 2013 "Ron said while we were talking that he cannot express how much he loves me. I told him I felt the same."
His many achievements stand out and will be his legacy. He was a pioneer. A leader. A legend. An icon. A luminary. There will never be another Ron. The world really has lost one of the best. THE best."