TRIBUTES have been paid to Albert Minshall, one of the key figures in Whitchurch’s sporting history, following his passing last month.

For many Albert was known as the man who built Hill Valley Golf Club.

A keen golfer, Albert played the game up until late in life and in 2008 even wrote his autobiography ‘In a Wonderful Lifetime’ highlighting his time at Hill Valley.

Shropshire councillor Gerald Dakin described Albert as a good friend since meeting in the early sixties, while Gerald was working for Albert’s firm building houses in Wem.

“I think Albert was a remarkable man,” said Gerald. “A very talented golfer, a very good businessman and and a very good builder.

“He built half the houses in Wem, and packed up building to build his golf course.”

Gerald says Albert was not only a talented sportsman, but also a fair player.

“He was a very good sportsman,” Gerald added. “I played cricket with him in Coton.

“He had a great spirit when playing, wasn’t a mean spirit and always encouraged you.

“He played golf to very late in life and up until abut three years ago he was a single figure handicap.”

Gerald says Albert, who was 86, will leave a large legacy.

“He will be very sadly missed,” Gerald added. “When he had Hill Valley he held a free Christmas party for the older people. About 300 people were there.

“A lot of people go through life without being known, but I think everyone in Whitchurch will have known Albert.”

Director of golf at Hill Valley, Rob Ashbrook said without Albert many of the game’s professionals would not be where they are today.

“What Albert did for me and for so many others, is he gave them an opportunity and help over over the years to develop their games,” said Rob.

Rob also praised Albert’s bravery in deciding to set up what has now become one of the premier golf clubs in the region.

“It was a huge commitment when he bought to land in 1972,” added Rob. “The club turned out to be one of the best courses in the region.”

A funeral procession will take place on Friday, July 10 through the Hill Valley grounds from 11.30am.