A HUMBLE former bobby who helped catch the Babes in the Wood child killer will be remembered for his many years of service.

John Albon, who has died at the age of 73, joined Sussex Police after walking into Hove police station and asking for an application form in 1966.

He rose through the ranks, but not before he had become the face of the force on posters for a recruitment drive in 1969 which featured on leaflets, adverts and on television.

During the 1980s he was a superintendent in Brighton and dealt with the fallout of Wild Park child killer Russell Bishop being acquitted in 1987.

Then in 1990, John was chief superintendent in charge of operations when Bishop abducted, sexually abused and then dumped a seven-year-old girl from Whitehawk, for which he was convicted and jailed for life.

During John’s 32 years of service he worked in Haywards Heath, Worthing, Burgess Hill and Brighton and Hove.

At the end of his career, in 1992, he was promoted to assistant chief constable of Devon and Cornwall Police in Exeter and worked with the Home Office.

Famously he was in charge during protests against the construction of the A30 road, led by environment campaigner Swampy.

John battled prostate cancer in 2011 and was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2018.

His funeral will be held later this month and will be attended by the current Sussex Chief Constable Jo Shiner.

Brother Philip Albon said John came from “humble beginnings” and was the second child in a family of five working class children.

John attended Hove Grammar School, and met his wife Barbara at the Methodist Youth Club in Portland Road in 1962.

They married in 1968, and had children Chris and Cathy, and now have four grandchildren Olivia, Frankie, Grace and Will.

John and Barbara were keen golfers and were popular members at Worthing Golf Club, where a flag was flown at half mast in his memory. Philip said his brother had continued to serve the public, working at his Sussex consultancy firm Techniques for Change for ten years after retiring from the police.

He also raised money for charity, running a marathon with Cathy in 2003 to raise cash for dementia sufferers.

By February this year, John was wheelchair bound and being looking after at his Lancing home by Barbara.

Philip said his brother has supported the Motor Neurone Disease Association with fundraising efforts. He said: “John was undeterred in his desire to serve and so set about working tirelessly to raise funds for the association, helped by his many friends and loving family.

“In little over a year he raised over £20,000 for MNDA. He also volunteered and took part in a clinical drug trial to help future sufferers.”

John died at St Barnabas Hospice in Worthing. His funeral will be held at Worthing Crematorium on October 16.

The family have asked for donations to MNDA via the HD Tribe funeral directors website – click on the “donations” section and enter “John Albon”.