A widely known local sporting personality and father-of-four has died at the age of 46.

Michael Gareth Potts, known to most as Mick, died on May 17 following heart surgery in Newcastle. He was known by many members of the community in Ilkley, and was a celebrated local sportsman in his youth.

Mr Potts, pictured, was born in 1963 at the St Winifred’s Nursing Home on the edge of Ilkley Moor, and later attended Ilkley Grammar School, where he was captain of the school football team in the mid 1970s, when it won the Wharfedale Schools cup for four years in a row.

A talented footballer, he captained the under 11 and under 12 Ilkley Juniors football team in the year they won the Harrogate and District Cup, and went on to play for Pudsey Juniors at under 13, 14 and 15 years.

He also played for the Bradford Boys team, at a time when the team was the best young soccer team in the north of England, reaching the semi-finals of the English Schools FA Cup.

Mr Potts was also an accomplished rugby player. He played at flanker for the Ilkley Grammar School 1st Rugby XV from the fifth form through to the upper sixth. He also played for Ilkley Rugby Club for a number of years. In later years, he helped with coaching at Ilkley Rugby Club when his three sons started playing.

In more recent years he was chosen to throw for England as a part of the British boomerang team, and shared some of his skills with the community of Wharfedale when he ran a boomerang workshop for children at Askwith Show.

Until a couple of years ago, Mr Potts was a popular do-it-all person including delivery driver working for Beanstalk, an organic food firm in Addingham.

Since leaving due to ill health, he was beset by a hereditary illness, cardio-myopathy, and he needed a heart transplant.

In tribute, members of his family said: “Michael will be sadly missed by all. If you went out into town with him you were sure to meet someone he knew. He had a bright intellect and was always on hand to help with people’s computers and problems. “But more than everything else he loved to spend time with his children, reading jointly the latest book or eating popcorn whilst watching the latest film together. Ironically, he died during an operation that had the potential to give him a new lease of life.”

His funeral service will take place at All Saints Parish Church, Ilkley, tomorrow at 1pm, followed by cremation for family and close friends at Skipton Crematorium.