BROADWOOD Morris Men paid tribute at the funeral of a local legend of the dance who has died aged 79.

Sid Wakeham was a founding member of Sompting Village Morris and continued dancing well into later life.

The Worthing resident was known to many as Father Christmas for the role he played in the Sompting Village Morris ‘Mummer’s Play’ for decades, spraying his beard white until ageing eventually turned it naturally grey.

In his younger days he also played for Worthing Rugby Club, who remembered him a "fearsome player in his days – incredibly strong and great company."

The club added: "He was also known to enjoy a jar or two.

"In his day, he was also well known not only for his rugby but also his Morris dancing exploits."

A larger-than-life figure known for his love of family and friends, Mr Wakeham also loved singing and took part in the Secret Shore project to perform traditional songs of the South Downs.

He died on August 18 after an illness and his funeral took place at Worthing Crematorium on Tuesday.