Luciano Pavarotti was a generous host who adored his family and loved sport according to a former Watford Grammar School pupil who worked with the tenor for eight years.

Nigel Gayler, 53, worked for Pavarotti as a chief recording editor for Decca Records between 1989 and 1997.

This included visiting the singer's holiday house in Pesaro, Italy, a town twinned with Watford, and recording a track at The Colosseum in Watford.

In Pesaro, Nigel would stay with Pavarotti and his family, playing recordings and getting a sequence approved for release.

He said: "His family were always there. His daughters, his mother and father were always there. He adored his family and friends and was very kind to everyone who came to his house. He was a very generous host and it was a privilege to be a part of that.

"I used to watch tennis with him occasionally. He was a big sports fan so we had a shared interest."

In June 1995 Pavarotti recorded Hymn of the Nations by Verdi with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus at the The Colosseum in Rickmansworth Road.

Nigel edited the recording which is available on Pavarotti Plus (Decca 448 701-2).

Nigel said: "I do remember him happily signing the backs of the choir's shirts. He was always happy signing autographs."

Nigel is now a producer for Classic FM. Luciano Pavarotti died of pancreatic cancer last Thursday in Modena, Italy. He was 71.

He was famed for bringing opera to the masses and his version of Nessun Dorma which he sang at the 1990 Football World Cup in Italy.

He was also a close friend of the late Princess Diana.

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