A founding member and past president of a local Lions Club, and a hardworking community volunteer, has died at the age of 79.

Tony Ackroyd, described as a true gentleman who will be sorely missed, died on March 5 with his family at his side.

Born on St James’s Road, Ilkley, in 1934, Mr Ackroyd is known to many in the area as a founder member of Wharfedale/Ilkley Moor Lions Club.

He was president of the Lions in 1971, 1996 and 2004 to 2006. The Lions club, which disbanded in 2010, held many community fundraising events within Ilkley, including the annual bonfire and fireworks displays and the May Day duck races.

Mr Ackroyd could also be found manning ‘Bat the Rat’ stalls at various local charity fairs up and down the Wharfe and Aire valleys.

All the money raised was used for both local and worldwide charities.

One of Mr Ackroyd’s favourite cases was the ever-popular Lions Christmas party for elderly people, where he could see first-hand the enjoyment their work gave to others.

He also led a local Spanish language group for Ilkley U3A, and was an avid volunteer for Ilkley Literature Festivals, Ilkley Playhouse and the Ilkley Talking Newspaper.

Following his death, his family has received many notes of condolence from the Ilkley community.