THE former president of a South Lakeland rugby club has died following a battle with terminal illness.

James 'Jim' Dwyer, 65, held the position at Kirkby Lonsdale Rugby Club between 2001 and 2003. He passed away in January.

Mr Dwyer was a native of Westmorland, and was was educated at Kirkby Lonsdale Junior School then QES, where he formed friendships that lasted more than 50 years.

He was a good sportsman and won the Victor Ludorum cup while at school, but an early rugby injury hospitalised him for many months and prevented him from playing rugby again.

Nigel Winn, the current chairman of the club, said: "Jim was a kind and generous man, a mentor, a confidant and someone you could go to for sound advice particularly when the going was tough."

In 1971, he went to study civil engineering at Sunderland Polytechnic. It was here that he first met his wife Cathy. From 1975-1985 he worked on sites in challenging environments such as tunnels, deserts and tidal zones where each presented a different challenge that he had to overcome. From 1985-1990 he moved into the Technical Marketing Division of Armco where he travelled to Africa, the Middle and Far East.

In 1991, Jim became Managing Director of Tubosider (UK) Ltd, building the business up over 20 years. Tubosider rewarded Jim's hard work by allowing him to adapt his role to his illness before he eventually retired in 2012.

Jim loved his sport and was passionate about KLRUFC and shared a common vision with friend John Wilman to create a Junior Rugby Section at the club. Jim was one of the founder members and the success it has today made him very proud.

Mr Dwyer had been terminally ill since 2009.

Jim's wife Cathy cared for the man she had known and loved for many years before he died peacefully at home.

Mr Winn said: "He was a great clubman, fiercely passionate about KLRUFC. Even through ill health and adversity he made every effort to see our home league fixtures which latterly was from within his car parked at the end of the 1st XV pitch.

"His last game was against Sandal on the 25th November 2017.

"He will be sadly missed by all that knew him."