Tributes have flooded in following the unexpected death of a "Middlesbrough music scene icon" who took generations of musicians under his wing. 

Nigel 'Papa Goose' Crooks, a music producer at Press On Vinyl, died suddenly last week, leaving friends, family and colleagues devastated at the loss of "one of the very best". 

Nigel worked in the music industry in Middlesbrough for most of his adult life, having developed a passion for recording as a teenager whilst performing as a musician in a local band. Most recently, Nigel was working for Press On Vinyl, the North's only independent record-pressing plant. 

As well as his passion for music, Nigel was a loving father to Beth Crooks and partner to Catherine Rees, who will "miss him more than words can describe."

The Northern Echo: Nigel and Beth, who paid tribute to her much-loved dad, saying his loss will leave a huge hole in all our lives.Nigel and Beth, who paid tribute to her much-loved dad, saying his loss will leave a huge hole in all our lives. (Image: Handout)

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Beth said: "He was just the most loving and devoted dad I could have asked for. He taught me to do what I want when I want and not care at all what anyone thought about it.

"I will miss him more than I could ever describe, and there is a huge hole left in all of our lives."

Beth added that Nigel was "music through and through", with many of her early memories featuring gigs and recording studios. 

"He made such an imprint in the music scene, but he was just a dad at the same time."

Musician Oli Heffernan, who first met Nigel at a gig in 2007, wanted to "honour his massive contributions to many people's lives". 

The Northern Echo: Nigel and his partner Catherine.Nigel and his partner Catherine. (Image: Handout)

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Oli said: "I first met Nige at a gig in The Knights and we instantly bonded over a love of music, snooker, pints and smoking.

"He gave up smoking, I gave up snooker and The Knights is now a car park - but the music and pints stuck and I believe that over the last 16 years, no one has recorded me playing guitar, bass, drums, and shouting as many times as he has. He deserves a medal for that alone.

"Two months ago, I ended up working at Press On. It was amazing to get to work with Nige and see his smiley face come through the door every day. 

"Nige was a one-off - hands down one of the nicest, funniest and most patient people I've ever met. Always going out of his way, especially to help the weirdos, misfits and underdogs. I'm gonna miss him more than these few words can ever express."

The Northern Echo: Nigel and his family at a recent wedding.Nigel and his family at a recent wedding. (Image: Handout)For more quality journalism, subscribe to The Northern Echo for £1.50 a week here

Alex Balzama, the Mastering and Cutting Engineer at Press On Vinyl called Nigel a "maverick and mad scientist". 

"Nigel never cared about expensive gear. Whatever he had on hand was enough as long as he could record with it. So long as he could capture the artist's spirit,  from high-end professional recording studios to the local pub, he always was 100 per cent committed."

After his death was announced, tributes to a "beautiful soul taken too soon" flooded social media. Beth and Catherine thanked those who have paid tribute and shared memories of Nigel. 

They said: "There has been such a huge outpouring of love from everyone, so many people have sent over kind words, tributes and stories about him.

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"We’d just like to thank everyone, he meant a lot to so many people and it means so much to be able to read everyone’s stories."

Though plans for Nigel's funeral are still undecided, Beth said: "We are all in agreement that it is going to be big, and it is going to be bands.

"We're going to struggle to find a venue big enough for what is probably going to be a big gig. So many people are going to want to say goodbye and play a song for him. "