The family of a former Whitchurch Herald owner have paid tribute to a man they called a 'proper gentlemen'.

Rupert Joseph Lucas Eccleston, known to everyone as Sam, died on Sunday at Greenfields Nursing Home aged 89, and was a prominent member of Whitchurch Rotary Club where he helped raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity at home and abroad.

Sam's daughter Jan Wynn says she will remember a man for who 'the caring of others was in his bones', and someone she is proud to have called her father.

"Even on his death bed, he was asking about other people, rather than thinking about himself," she said.

"His mum, Elizabeth, was quite proper and she wanted him to have all the names. My grandfather wanted to call him Sam but at the christening, he let her have Rupert etc.

"But he then carried dad out and said 'everyone meet Sam' so they both got what they wanted.

"I am proud to have been his daughter and we are proud to be his children and he was like a second father to my husband Paul. I'm really proud that everyone in the town thought so well of him."

Sam took over the running of the Whitchurch Herald after his father Rupert's death in the 1960s and owned the paper until he sold it around 1989, but he stayed on to help the new owners.

He worked in the print industry all his life, qualifying as a print master and joined the Herald firm in 1952, but lived in Whitchurch for most of his life, apart from time spent at Rossall School in Lancashire where, according to Jan, he honed a bit of a naughty streak.

She said: "He was a naughty boy there. He appeared in front of the headmaster a number of times, including once where he hung a boy outside a window in order to shut the window below.

"He was just an English schoolboy."

Jan added she will remember a father who was a private man, but showed immense pride and love for his children in actions, rather than words.

"I painted the shed white when mum and dad were at a wedding, because I had convinced the lady minding us it was a good idea.

"He came home and while he wasn't pleased, he gave me two and six for the work, though took me upstairs and quietly said 'don't do that again'.

"He would always help you and he gave quite sage advice. he absolutely loved the Rotary Club and he wasn't a do-gooder. He just wanted to help people; his interest in people meant he met so many new ones."

Sam was an all-round sportsman too, captaining both Whitchurch rugby and cricket teams, and was president of the rugby club for many years.

Jan added that Sam's lifelong friend from the age of two was Roly Wyatt and that his death in Greenfields was a coming home 'of sorts' as it used to house the rugby club that he built with Dennis Jones and John Bellis.

He had four children; Jan, Lynne – who died aged 37 – Andrew, and Sarah, and is survived by his wife Margaret, who he married at St Alkmund's, where his funeral will take place on May 1.

Jan added: "It's our daughter Adele's birthday on the same day but she loved him so much, she said she didn't mind at all."