Tributes have been paid to Sharpness sporting legend Jimmy Thomas.

Known as 'Champ', he was a fixture at Sharpness AFC and Oldlands Cricket Club for decades.

A tribute from Jimmy's son Tim and the two clubs stated: "With over 60 years of service as a player, fundraiser, ground helper and finally president. Jimmy Thomas loved Oldlands.

"Jim was not only one of the best cutters and pullers of a cricket ball, he also kept wicket and for the majority of the time stood up to all bowlers regardless of pace. Club Captain Steve Pennington recalls Champ turned up for one game with a cushion. Everyone a bit surprised but as the old blinkers were starting to decrease Jim decided to strap the cushion under his shirt to protect his chest and stomach. Any means nesscerary!

"Post playing, Jim loved nothing more than during the summer months being at Oldlands, whether he was building a new fence, painting a fence, cutting the grass, having a fire, organising the pre season field cuts, tiding the pavilion and many other tasks that others would shy away from. Jim would always be there doing the jobs of 6 people.

Lastly, Jim would follow every game where possible, home and away whether it was over the forest of dean or in the Cotswolds, the distance and time was never a problem. When he was sadly unable to drive he would get a lift with the lads and look to inspire everyone.

"If you asked him how he was, whether it was football or cricket, he would always say ask me at 5pm for football or 7pm with cricket.

"We will all miss Champ and for a few of us listening to him during the game giving us a grilling on getting out early or praising us for getting a good score he would always give you an honest answer! Good or Bad!"

Jimmy's funeral was held earlier today (Friday) at St Andrew's Church, with dozens of people lining the streets to give him a great send off.