Tributes have been paid to a Burnham-On-Sea pensioner who has died this week after many years of charity fundraising.

Arthur Gilbert, who received an MBE for his charity fundraising and was named the world’s oldest triathlete four years ago, passed away on Friday evening at the age of 94.

Tributes have been paid to him from friends, family and supporters across the Burnham area.

Burnham’s Mayor Michael Clarke told “What a sad loss of a truly inspirational man. To have achieved so much especially in later life is a wonderful guide for us all.”

Arthur’s grandaughter, Natalie, said: “I have lost one of the most important men in my life, after a long and difficult week… he was a true inspiration and my hero. He will be missed by everyone but led an incredible life and we are extremely proud to have known him. Thank you to everyone for their support.”

Mark Cox Conklin at Burnham Swim and Sports Academy said: “Arthur was a wonderful, multi-talented man who will be greatly missed. He was more than just a friend to Sara and me – he was an inspiration to everyone at the Academy.”

Brian Beale of Burnham Harriers running club, where Arthur was treasurer for several years, added: “Arthur was always a real gent and was always so enthusiastic in helping with our races. He was always a very dependenable person and will be much missed.”

Another friend who knew him well, Mike Gardner, added: “I trained with Arthur for many years and he was such a super guy – really dedicated and so friendly. He will be greatly missed.”

Arthur completed his last triathlon in Burnham in 2013 and was named the world’s oldest tiathlete in 2011.

Back in 2008, we reported how Prince Charles presented Arthur Gilbert with an MBE in the New Year’s Honours.

Arthur first got into sport in the 1970s when he began cycling to work each day between Burnham and Weston, and took on triathlons for charities including the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research.

Arthur completing his final triathlon in Burnham and, below, with family and friends outside burnham Swim & Sports Academy