TRIBUTES have been made to a dedicated community hero and former Wilts and Glos Standard reporter who recently died of cancer aged 80.

Clive Bennett was a local journalist in the Cotswolds for over three decades and has been described by friends as "Mr Cirencester".

​He entered the world of local politics in 2003 and became chairman of Cotswold District Council in 2015.

His life revolved around his family, helping the community and perfecting his golf skills.

Sarah Bennett Thurston, his daughter, said: "The main love of his life was my mother Michele...they nearly reached their 60th wedding anniversary.

Cotswold Journal: Clive and his wife Michele at their wedding in 1965Clive and his wife Michele at their wedding in 1965 (Image: Sarah Bennett Thurston)

"Followed closely was his love for golf, his children and his grandchildren - although the order these come in is debatable!" 

Clive moved to South Cerney in 1969 where he re-trained as a journalist on the Standard.

Richard Wintle, a photographer who worked with Clive during his journalist years, described him as "bubbly, happy and determined."

He said Clive was "Mr Cirencester" - the go to person to find out what was happening in the area. 

Cllr Lynden Stowe, former leader of Cotswold District Council described Clive as "a first-class Chairman" who was "professional to the core" and "a passionate advocate for the people he represented in the Water Park".

As well as helping the community, Clive spent many hours playing golf.

Cirencester Golf Club members said: "Clive joined the Golf Club in 1980. Golf was to become a significant part of his life.

"Clive played the game off a single figure handicap for many years. This is a goal to which all amateur golfers aspire, and not many achieve."

Cotswold Journal: Clive with his son Gareth and grandson Ellis at Cirencester Golf ClubClive with his son Gareth and grandson Ellis at Cirencester Golf Club (Image: Sarah Bennett Thurston)

Clive's son Gareth inherited this passion for golf and became a professional.

Gareth and Sarah are organising a golf charity event next year to raise money for the Cheltenham oncology department that looked after Clive after his diagnosis of oesophagus cancer.   

Sarah said: "My dad, to me, was my world, but to the rest of the world he was proud, strong and wanted things done right.

"From his journalist days and council days, from his cricket days to golf days dad wanted to help others."