TRIBUTES have been paid to a centenarian who was a regular winner on the bowls circuit.

Bert Potter, of Haydon Wick, who celebrated his 100th birthday with friends and family at Haydon Wick Bowls Club in January, died at Great Western Hospital on Friday.

Bert’s son, David, who lives near Monmouth, said the bowls club meant the world to the grandfather-of-two.

“My mother died in the mid-1990s and I don’t know what he would have done without the club. It is a remarkable community,” he said. “Dad was a kind, generous and funny man. I’ll miss him.”

Albert Henry Potter, who hated his own name, was one of six siblings.

He was born to parents Charles and Edith in Portsmouth on January 11, 1913.

He was born into a family of smallholders who sold fruit and veg from the horse and cart around the streets and in the market in Portsmouth.

Bert, who grew up in Portsmouth, married his late wife Hilda in 1937, and they had one son, David.

The couple were married for 57 years until Hilda died in 1994.

Bert, who served in the Second World War, worked for insurance company Prudential until he retired as district manager for Portsmouth in the early 1960s.

The family moved to Swindon in 1984, when Bert was 71, and he joined Haydon Wick Bowls Club several years later.

The 100-year-old, who won the club championship when he was 89, lived independently until three weeks before he died.

He only gave up driving after his 100th birthday and gave a 10-minute speech without notes to 90 people at his party on January 12.

Bert’s friend at Haydon Wick Bowls Club, Coun Rex Barnett, said: “Sandra and I thought Bert was a brilliant character. We have had fantastic fun with him over the years and he is going to be sorely missed. He was a lovely character.”

Speaking at Bert’s birthday, club president Howard Smith, said Bert was well-known around the district because he had been playing bowls for such a long time.

Howard said Bert would often get offered drinks from the opposition because he was so well known.

A service will be held at Kingsdown Crematorium on March 11 at 3pm.