A judo coach who inspired generations on and off the mat has been described as a "true ambassador for the sport" following his death.

Dennis Wrightwebb passed away on January 10 in Furness General Hospital aged 85.

His love for judo started in 1957, when he responded to an advert offering judo classes organised by 1st kyu brown belt Alan Lees in Ulverston.

That blossomed into a passion which saw Mr Wrightwebb become a successful champion while also passing on the knowledge and skills picked up over years of training and competition to others.

He started coaching in 1962 and saw generations pass through Furness Judo Club, learning from his expertise.

A statement from Mr Wrightwebb’s family said: “Dennis was a quiet and modest family man who was extremely well-liked and respected throughout the judo world and beyond – a true ambassador for the sport.

“He had time for everyone, whether they were a complete novice or a seasoned international, and he will be sadly missed by many, many people, whose lives he had a positive effect upon both on and off the mat.”

Looking for a way to keep fit after serving in the Royal Artillery for three years, Mr Wrightwebb attended the class and began training for six months before taking a break.

In 1961, he was graded with the 6th kyu green belt by Gunji Koizumi, who is known as the ‘Father of British Judo’.

By 1962, he had started to win his first competitions, winning at the Green Belt Championships.

Two years later, Mr Wrightwebb was the only successful candidate of 60 brown belts to achieve the coveted 1st dan black belt.

For the 1972 Munich Olympics, he was picked by Team GB after winning numerous tournaments, including three open weight black belt titles.

At 43, Mr Wrightwebb gained his 4th dan after coming out of retirement in 1978.

From there, he embarked on an equally-successful coaching career, where he produced 35 black belts and champions at all levels.

In 2002, he was awarded for his coaching achievements during the Cumbria Sports Awards.

Mr Wrightwebb leaves behind his three children – Les, Jan and Paul – and six grandchildren: Carly, Brad, Joe, Connor, Evie and Hattie.