A Special tribute has been paid to former British weightlifting champion Fred Pickles, who died last Wednesday at the age of 91.

Pickles, who had lived at Parkwood in Keighley before his death at Parkfield Care Home in Thwaites Brow, was the British weightlifting champion in his weight class in 1938.

Pickles' long-time friend Brian Holmes of Keighley said that Fred always talked about his disappointment at not being able to possibly compete in the 1940 Olympics at Tokyo, which were cancelled because of the outbreak of the Second World War.

Holmes said that Fred has four weightlifting records that will never be broken because the sport now uses the metric system rather than the old Imperial measurements.

Because of his achievements in the sport, Holmes said that Fred received the British Amateur Weightlifters award in 1996.

As well as weightlifting, Fred's other passion was shooting.

Pickles was a member of Keighley Rifle and Pistol Club for 67 years and was the president of the club at the time of his death.

Holmes, who is the chairman of the club, said: "I've known Fred for many, many years. He certainly will be missed."

"He was so helpful with the younger members of the club over the years."

One of his pupils was Michelle Smith of Keighley, who began target shooting at the Keighley club in 1995.

Smith, now a member of Aireborough Rifle and Revolver Club, became the first female British champion when she won the Bisley 2007 Earl Roberts Competition.

Pickles, who worked for 45 years at Keighley engineering firm Prince, Smith & Stells, was also a keen caver.

Holmes said he served three years as president of the Craven Pothole Club, and rescued several stranded cavers in his years with the club.

l The funeral for Pickles, who was born on January 10, 1917, will be held today at 10am at the Knoll, Victoria Road, Keighley. Cremation is at Oakworth Crematorium.