TRIBUTES have been to a former past captain of Bolton Old Links Golf Club and owner of a well-known garden centre.

Donald Darby died on September 13 at the Royal Bolton Hospital.

The 90-year-old was the beloved husband of the late Barbara Darby and a loving dad, grandad and great-grandad.

Son Richard Darby said: “He was a great story teller and if there was ever a situation he would have a joke for it.

“He was very well-respected as an after-dinner speaker.

“In his latter years when he could not drive any more, he drove his golf buggy up and down the high street in Westhoughton.

“He was a bit partially sighted too and some people would be jumping out of the way”

He was described as an entrepreneur and raconteur by his family.

He did national service and joined the Royal Navy ‘to see the world but was stationed around the UK’.

Instead his work as a salesperson took him around the globe.

Richard said: “He was involved in the local community and took the boys brigade and my friends remember him taking us to get ready for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme.

“He was a Conservative councillor in Swinton and we moved to Westhoughton in the 1980s.

“He opened the Darby Garden Centre in Westhoughton which is still going today.

“He was an enthusiastic golfer and Past Captain of Bolton Old Links Golf Club in 1998.

“A lot of people from the golf club have been in touch to say he gave a lot of time for the recent captains his advice and the junior members coming through.

“He had a passion for golf and won a few trophies including a Green jumper.

“He also loved sailing and he had a boat called Lola which was up in Keswick and he got stuck on that a few times.

“He was also well-known for going to a number pubs and loved to go to the Gerrard Arms, The Doffcocker Inn and Fannys.”

Richard added that the family had lots of memories on holidays.

“I remember there being seven of us going around the UK and also Europe spending hours to drive to the south of France.”

A funeral service to be held at St Bartholomew’s Church, Westhoughton on October 4 at 11.30am followed by interment in Westhoughton Cemetery.

Floral tributes accepted or if preferred donations in Donald’s memory are for the ‘RNIB’ charity. Please make donation cheques payable to the charity. Flowers, donations and enquiries to: Cowburn Funeral Service, 1 King Street, Westhoughton, BL5 3AX. Tel: 01942 813105.