Tributes have been paid to a former councillor and founding member of Weymouth Tennis Club.

Robbie Dunster, who was 71, lost a battle with cancer.

Mr Dunster was best known for his work as a Weymouth and Portland Borough councillor (WPBC) and as a founding member of Weymouth Tennis Club.

He leaves behind a wife, Sue Dunster, and two daughters, Sally Rodgers and Clare Ash.

Mr Dunster was born in Cheltenham and moved to the region while serving in the army with the Royal Corps of Signals.

He lived in Warminster before moving to Dorset.

He worked selling products for the company Amway and sold tennis and squash clothing and equipment as part of Dorchester Squash Club.

Mrs Dunster said tennis was her husband's passion and he helped found Weymouth Tennis Club in 1984.

She added: “He was probably best known for his tennis and taught children how to play and as they grew older he would teach their children and at one point he taught some of his students' grandchildren.

“He had a lovely attitude and a great sense of humour. He was always one for a quip and would say things like ‘My grandmother could run faster than that.’ He would also spend time with people and give them encouragement.

“Tennis was his complete passion. He was a qualified professional tennis coach. He is down as one of Weymouth Tennis Club's founding members. He hadn’t played as much in recent years, but he still had connections with the club and was very well respected.”

Greg Day, Chairman of Weymouth Tennis Club, said: “He did a lot for the club and its foundation.

“He was a very loyal club member and helped to get it off the ground.”

Mr Dunster was also a Conservative councillor and represented Broadwey for many years on Weymouth and Portland Borough Council until he stepped down in 2014.

He also served on Chickerell Town Council and was mayor in 2012/13.

Councillor Pam Nixon, who represents the Wey Valley in Weymouth, worked alongside Mr Dunster on the borough council’s licensing committee and said he was a 'well-respected gentleman.' 

She added: “I knew him quite well. We worked together very closely on the licensing committee. He was a very sociable man who communicated very well with people in particularly young people. He was very outgoing but was also a very private person in other ways. 

“He was very well respected, and this will be a great loss to many who knew him. He worked very quietly, and he thought things through. He liaised himself very well with others. He was passionate about the Conservative Party and he did a lot of work within the community.

“He had an excellent reputation and was very much a gentleman.”

Mr Dunster’s reputation as a councillor was only exceeded by his work as a local businessman. He ran the company Unicorn Courtesy Cars for 29 years, developing a loyal customer base and many friends.

Mrs Dunster said: “He had some great relationships with a number of clients and customers. Some of them have been in contact with me since he died. He always had time for his clients, he was on call 24/7 which was part of his ethos. He ran that business hand in hand with his tennis coaching, and had a fleet of his own cars at one point.”

She added: "While my husband was a private person he was very confident in his own environment, taking pride in coaching his tennis students and in his work with the council. He was an empowering person and I miss him very much."

Mr Dunster's funeral will take place at All Saints Church in Wyke Regis on Monday January 22 at 11am.