A LIFELONG Albion football fan nicknamed “Uncle Bulgaria” will be remembered by friends as a man of stellar values.

They said the phrase “a life well lived” could be written for Malcolm John Woodall, a customs officer.

His passions included cricket and he played for Lewes St Michael’s.

Malcolm achieved his lifelong ambition to watch the Ashes Test in Australia in 2017.

He was an ardent Seagulls supporter as well as a keen football player – his claim to fame was playing against Albion’s Jimmy Case as a Sussex schoolboy.

Malcolm was born on June 17, 1954, in Southlands Hospital in Shoreham. His father was a shoe shop owner and his mother an usher at Lewes Crown Court.

He went to Pells Primary School and then Lewes Secondary School, now called Lewes Priory.

In his youth he was a trainspotter and retained his love of steam trains throughout his life.

He was also a keen golfer. Being a Lewes lad he obviously enjoyed a pint of Harvey’s, Bonfire Night and the Lewes Arms pantomime.

Malcolm had a 47-year career in Customs and Excise. He started working for the department at 17 in 1971 and he was still employed there when he died last month.

He started working as both a uniformed and VAT officer in Newhaven and Portsmouth before moving to London.

Malcolm met his wife Pamela Brown while he was working at the Portsmouth VAT office.

They married in Fareham on October 1, 1983, and have one son, Thomas.

The second half of his career was within investigation and intelligence working both in London and Shoreham.

In 2009 he joined a network of officers protecting UK interests across Europe and the wider world.

He was based in Sofia, hence his nickname “Uncle Bulgaria” but also worked in the wider region including Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Turkey and Georgia.

His final role was as UK liaison officer to the World Customs Organisation based in Brussels with 185 member countries.

Malcolm died on October 18 from prostate cancer at St Peter and St James Hospice in North Chailey.

Family and friends described him as a “super star”, a man of great integrity, stellar values, enthusiasm and brilliant fun and for who the glass was always half full.