HE was one of the foremost karate instructors in the town for more than 30 years, but Billy Tattum will also be remembered for his touching community spirit.

Billy, a chief instructor at St Helens Karate Club, loved nothing more than helping the older members of his neighbourhood in Clock Face, said his twin brother John.

Billy passed away on Sunday, May 18, at the age of 71, after a two-year battle with dementia.

It was a cruel illness for someone who dedicated himself to the fitness and discipline of karate.

His brother said, during his time as an instructor, Billy taught hundreds of students, many of whom went on to win honours at British and world titles.

He prided himself on teaching karate in the traditional Japanese style.

John, who himself ran a karate school in Widnes, added: “He was always into sport at school. Although he was never fantastic, he loved it. He got into boxing at first, then martial arts.

“Our dad was the old type and would take us to boxing and wrestling booths.

“We started going to karate and found they were training all year.

“His martial art was his second love. He loved nothing more than pottering around doing DIY for the community in Clock Face and was once nominated as Citizen of the Year.

“The best way to describe him is that he was a carer.”

A service will be held at St Helens Crematorium at 10 am on Tuesday, May 27.