"He will be missed but never forgotten by many people." That is how Andy Gillard described his good friend Marshall Swonnell who passed away just days before his 86th birthday.

The Carshalton man known simply as 'Chuck' or 'Chuckles' by his pals for his sense of humor died the night of February 25.

Mr Gillard knew Chuck since the early 1990s and said he was honoured to call him a friend.

"The nickname bestowed upon him many years ago now as a result of his upbeat demeanour and the fact it was rare to see him without a smile or laugh upon his face," Mr Gillard said

"And those who knew him were not just based in the UK but in Europe and beyond.

"I remember a friend of ours from Belgium proudly showing us a 1960s scooter diary he purchased locally at an auto-memorabilia event.

"The pages were almost all blank, but one entry stood out; Chuckles’ name, work address and telephone number that he had obviously given to the diary’s original owner some 40 years earlier."

A retired engineer and member of the Lambretta and Vespa Clubs of Great Britain, as well as the London Lambretta Club, Chuck made headlines back in 2016 when thieves got a hold of his beloved two-wheeler.

But his determined friends searched social media for reference to the distinctive bike and tracked down the parts, which were being flogged on Facebook.

Mr Gillard, a fellow London Lambretta Club member and man behind ScooterNova magazine, added that Chuck's memory will live on for a long time to come.

"Whether riding his Lambretta through Rome in the 1960s, or as possibly the longest serving marshal and time-keeper at Lambretta Club sporting events over the decades, his enthusiasm was unquestionable," he said.

"Neither was his cheekiness. I remember arriving on the final day of a local Vespa Club event in Essex, at around 10am on a Sunday, to be greeted but just a dozen or so people remaining in the field, one being Chuckles who greeting me with a cold can of lager and a cheeky grin on his face, explaining he’d been saving it all weekend for me.

"The word legend is often over-used, but scooter riders young and old know of Chuck Swonnell, the man with a legendary passion for the humble two-wheeled vehicles he rode all over Europe and the hundreds of friendships he made along the way.

"Chuck sadly passed away just days before his 86th birthday, an occasion for which dozens of friends and scooterists from around the country had already sent him cards full of best wishes.

"He will be missed but never forgotten by many people, and nor will his contribution to the Lambretta and Vespa scene over the decades."

Marshall 'Chuckles' Swonnell passed away on February 25, aged 85.