An oil worker from the Highlands who died suddenly in Azerbaijan has been remembered as a “cheeky character” and a “kind bloke”.
Christopher Bernardi, originally from Inverness, died in Baku where he worked as a scaffolding manager in the oil and gas industry.
The cause of his death has since been established as a heart attack.
Mr Bernardi, who was 61, attended St Joseph’s Primary School before progressing to Millburn Academy.
He left the Highlands to pursue a career in the energy industry which took him all over the world, including to Batam in Indonesia, where he would stay with his partner Ella.
Mr Bernardi was a well-known face around the Highland capital and was a keen footballer and golfer, playing for Clachnacuddin boys before a host of amateur and welfare sides in Inverness.
His former football coach Billy Corbett said that if he had not moved away for work, he could have played at a high level in the Highland game.
Mr Corbett said he was devastated to hear of Mr Bernardi’s passing and said he always had a smile on his face and “was great to be in company with”.
“He was a cheeky character but such a kind bloke,” he added.
Mr Bernardi’s sister, Rose McInnes, paid tribute to her brother.
Mrs Mcinnes said: “He was so well-liked and so well known.
“He was full of mischief and always smiling.
“You could never dream up all the little tricks he used to do – nobody was safe.
“His son Scott was the apple of his eye. He was everything to Chris.
“Chris got Scott started into the oil industry and he was so proud of him.
“It was always a happy time in Chris’s company.”
Mr Bernardi’s family have said they are in the process of carrying out repatriation before arrangements for his funeral will be broadcast to allow friends to pay their respects.
Mrs McInnes told of her brother’s kindness which would often entail providing for others in any way he could.
“He was so generous and kind but wasn’t one for broadcasting it around.
“He would keep a tin of change and, once it was full, he would take it into work and give it to his supervisor to give to his little boy.
“That was Chris, so kind-hearted.”
Mr Bernardi leaves behind a partner in Ella, son Scott and daughter-in-law Kim, sister Rose, brothers Frank, Ray and Ronnie and an extended family.