OLYMPIC shooting medallist Steve Scott has paid an emotional tribute to his former coach who has died of cancer days after his triumph in Rio.

Martin Barker, remembered yesterday for his huge contribution to the sport he loved, died suddenly on Monday night, having been to ill to travel to Brazil to see Steve take the bronze medal in the double trap.

The 61-year-old had spoken to The Argus only last Thursday about his pride in Steve's success and his regret that his own ill health had prevented him from travelling.

Speaking to The Argus from Rio yesterday, Steve, from Battle, said Martin had texted him to say after his medal last Wednesday to say 'Well done, a fantastic job.'

Steve said: "I told him I would be round as soon as I was back.

"I told him, 'thanks for all your help; without you I would not be in this position'."

Martin and his wife Nicky ran Nuthampstead Shooting Ground, on the border between Cambridge and Essex, where they have hosted major competitions in the international trap disciplines.

Mr Barker coached shooters of all ages many of whom went on to achieve much in the sport and, until recently, he coached the British double trap team.

Steve met Martin when the former was a teenager and Martin helped guide him from the outset.

Steve recalled: "Straight away he gave me a few pointers and was the person that helped me out massively.

"Whenever I had a problem I went to him. I could one hundred per cent trust him, because he knew what he was talking about. It was his life.

"Without him I don't think I would be here today.

"Martin and his ground have been a massive part of my life and I definitely feel like a chunk of me has been taken away."

Among their many success, Martin supported Steve at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, where Steve won his second Commonwealth gold.

Steve's father, Michael, sent a photograph of the pair (pictured) from the games to Martin with the words: "The old wise owl and the young sharp hawk".

Martin, father to Ed, 23, and Will, 21, was diagnosed with lung cancer after returning from a Rio test event this year.

Steve added: "He was just a real gentleman who gave so much to the sport; you get people who are generous and selfless and he was one of those. He would put himself out to help.

"It could be the first time you go to his ground, he would treat you like family.

"And when it comes to the ground that he built and the legacy that he will leave, it is phenomenal.

"We have the best facility in the country thanks to that man."

In the bronze medal shoot-out in Rio Steve was triumphant against fellow Brit Tim Kneale, also coached by Martin.

Yesterday Martin's wife, Nicky, told The Argus her husband was hugely proud to see Steve and Mr Kneale at the Olympics.

She said: "He coached Mr Kneale for many years and had a part to play in Steve's success.

"It is an amazing achievement for the pair of them and it was such an enormous part of [Martin's] life. He was enjoying watching it, and I watched the final with him and he was just very excited and just very proud."

Paying tribute to her husband as a kind, generous, loyal and honest man, she added: "He died very peacefully and he felt he had achieved everything in his life."

Tributes were paid yesterday from across the world of shooting.

The Clay Pigeon Shooting Association said he was a "stalwart of international trap shooting who will be greatly missed by all who knew him".

British Shooting, the sport's governing body, said Mr Barker "dedicated his life to the sport of Olympic shotgun shooting."

It added: "His legacy will live forever in our athletes.

"Our dearest sympathies are with his family and the extended shotgun family."