TRIBUTES have flooded in for Solihull-born bomb disposal expert Brett Linley, who was killed in Afghanistan on Saturday.
Staff Sergeant Linley, described as “a man of courage and composure”, died in an explosion in Helmand Province.
Senior officers said his actions had saved many lives - both Afghan and British.
Lt Col Gerald Strickland, of 1st Battatlion The Royal Gurkha Rifles Battlegroup, said: “He was a true hero who knew the risks of his job, but never hesitated to step forward into danger.
“I will miss his wise advice greatly. We mourn his loss, and grieve for his family.”
Other comrades remembered his good nature, bravery and calm manner - he once defused three explosive devices in less than an hour.
The soldier, who joined the Royal Logistics Corps nine-years-ago, leaves behind his family and girlfriend.
An avid Birmingham City fan, Staff Sgt Linley tested his mettle during three tours of Northern Ireland.
And in March he was deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation HERRICK, clearing explosives in the war-torn Helmand Province.
The popular serviceman was one of four British soldiers to die within a 24-hour period.
* Did you know Staff Sgt Linley? What are your memories of him? Call the News Desk on 0121 705 3545.