Tributes have poured in for a beloved figure in the community.

Big hearted David Peill, 82, has been fondly remembered as ‘a character’ after losing his hard fought battle with illness.

His daughter Sue said: “My dad was Keswick born and bred, he was involved in a lot of things. As a younger lad he was involved in the Sea Cadets, he boxed for the Sea Cadets."

David was passionate about sport - “rugby in the foremost”.

He played for Keswick Rugby Club for years as well as Workington Zebras, serving as chairman of the latter for a year.

Sue said: “We’ve had lots of messages with lovely memories. I’ve learnt things about him that I didn’t know. It’s not just people his age, it’s people younger than me. We’ve had messages from younger lads at the rugby clubs saying he was always there and covered our backs.”

His caring nature transcended sport.

“Everybody in the pubs knew him because if anybody needed anything they’d ask him and he’d help them. He was always one for the underdog. He gave all the locals nicknames and they still all live on to this day.”

Sue described David as a family man.

“Children flocked to my dad, there was something about him. He was a very loving husband and father.”

David and wife Joan had two daughters, Sue and her late sister Tina.

He leaves behind grandchildren Claire and Simon as well as their seven great grandchildren.

Former resident of Keswick Elwyn Evans called David “a legendary Keswick character that most people would know and remember.”

David ran his own business, Derwent Builders as well as working on private contracts, for the National Trust and the water board.

Trevor Keough, chairman of Keswick Rugby Club, said: “I had my first game as a schoolboy for Keswick Third Team in 1977 and David Peill, ‘The Pearl’ was holding up the scrum single handed or so it appeared to a young man having his first run out for an adult team.

"Although David had played a lot of first team rugby in his earlier days, when I got to meet him he was a stalwart of the second and third teams at Keswick. To say that he was a character is an understatement.

“He could crack a joke but also be very kind to the people he knew. He looked after the younger players as well as having great friendships with fellow rugby players of his own generation, such as the late David “Sammy” Sewell. David packed in a full life with his family, his rugby and his business.

"People who were fortunate to have met him and got to know him will have their own fond memories of their times with David. All at Keswick Rugby Club pass on condolences to Joan, Susan and family.”

A service will take place from 11am on Tuesday at the Catholic Church in Keswick.