GOLF: ELLESMERE Port Veterans' stalwart Bert Gadd, one of the region's most popular golfers, has died at the age of 94.
He had not been well, but his death still came as a shock to his family and friends.
Ken Jones, Ellesmere Port Golf Club's chairman of the Vets handicap committee, said: 'He had a fall at home a couple of weeks before he died and he broke his hip.
'But the operation to pin the damaged area was successful and I was looking forward to visiting him.
'I was really surprised and saddened when I heard the news.'
Bert was one of the country's top golfers in the 1930s, winning the French Open in 1933 and the Irish Open in 1937.
He had course records at Brand Hall, Newcastle (County Down), West Cheshire, Brancepeth, Bishop Auckland, Seaton Carew and Whitley Bay as well as a best-ever 66 at Arrowe Park in the second round of qualifying for the 1947 Open Championship.
Bert played golf right up to the age of 88, carded a gross 64 at the age of 77 and, until recent years, was chairman of the handicap committee of the veterans' section at Ellesmere Port and vice-chairman of the club.
His other notable achievements included representing his country six times in international matches, remaining unbeaten throughout. He was on the verge of a call-up to the Ryder Cup squad before war interrupted his career in 1939.
Mr Jones said: 'Not only was he a fantastic golfer, but he had a marvellous brain. He never seemed to make a mistake in his role on the handicap committee and he will be sadly missed. Even the juniors were in awe of him.' Bert's funeral will take place at Blacon Crematorium, Chester, on Friday at noon.