A 93-year-old grandfather who was “full of life” and had “an amazing brain” died in hospital after a fall while using a wobbly walking stick.

Ronald Drake, from Jubilee Court in Worthing, was described as a kind, loving and an extremely intelligent man.

His family said he was fit and able to live independently.

He had five children and five grandchildren.

While walking one day to a cafe in Worthing, his walking stick gave way and he suffered from a fracture in a bad fall.

He had to spend months in hospital where his health deteriorated.

He caught a number of infections and developed hospital-acquired pneumonia.

He died on December 3 in hospital last year.

The engineering lecturer was a competitive cyclist for a large part of his life.

But after a few falls from his bicycle in his later years, including one which resulted in a spinal compression, he needed a walking to stick to help him get around.

An inquest into his death, held at Centenary House in Crawley, heard the rubber bung on the end of Mr Drake’s walking stick was slightly worn down and needed repairing.

He failed to fix it and one day it slipped from underneath him causing him to lose his balance.

He fell heavily on to his right side causing several injuries, including a fracture.

Mr Drake remained in hospital for about two months, during which he became more frail.

The multiple infections and pneumonia led to his death.

Assistant coroner for West Sussex Joanne Andrews said the cause of Mr Drake’s death was hospital-acquired pneumonia, which developed as a result of his reduced mobility after the fracture.

She said: “He had a fall in Worthing.

“His walking stick slipped from under him and he was taken to hospital.

“And he sadly died having developed hospital acquired pneumonia.”

She said his fall was a significant contributory factor to his death.

Daughter Sheila Browse, attending the inquest, described her father as “great fun” and someone who was extremely close to all his children.

She said: “We are really close as a family.

“He was such a smart man.

“He always had the sudoku on the go.

“After he stopped working as a lecturer he still gave private tuition. He was very intelligent and very much all there in the head – totally cognitively intact.”

Mrs Browse said her father was heavily into his competitive cycling and enjoyed keeping fit.

And he was a very involved father when they were growing up.

She said: “Mum was a secretary, but she was also having to be mum with five kids.

“And Dad was just so active and very involved in our lives growing up.”

Mr Drake’s son, Paul, also attended the inquest.

He said: “He was such a kind and loving man.

“He didn’t need any assistance, he was a very independent man and was quite happy going about his own way.”