Tributes have been paid to a “local legend” and sport stalwart who has died at the age of 73.

David Lockyer, from Eastbourne, died on Sunday following a “long and brave battle with illness”.

David had a long association with Eastbourne Saffrons Sports Club, the charitable trust that manages sport on the Saffrons site in Compton Place Road, Eastbourne.

He was a stalwart for sport in the area for more than 50 years and described as a “brilliant” cricketer.

The Argus: David Lockyer was involved with the club since 1967David Lockyer was involved with the club since 1967 (Image: Eastbourne Cricket Club)

David, known as “Locko” by many, was an electrician by trade and was also a magistrate.

Roger Myall, who took over as chairman of Saffrons Sports Club from David in 2020, said he was a “true leader”.

Roger told The Argus: “The term legend is used far too often but in terms of the local community and sport, he was a legend. He was an incredibly important figure to many people.

“He played a very big part for a lot of people growing up within the club in terms of sport and also as humans.

“He was never the sort of guy who told you how to do things, but suggested things to consider.

The Argus: David Lockyer was described as a 'loyal servant' of sport in the areaDavid Lockyer was described as a 'loyal servant' of sport in the area (Image: Supplied)

“David was very gentle, a true leader. He was somebody that people wanted to lead because you trusted him. Everybody had huge respect for him. Everybody that came across him felt that.”

David’s association with The Saffrons started when he joined as a junior member of Eastbourne CC from 1967 to 1969.

David attended Eastbourne Grammar School before going on to study engineering at university.

He later joined the cricket club as a senior member in 1978, having moved away from the town for a period.

David was a member ever since and held “pretty much every position on the club’s committee during that time”.

David went on to own Buckman and Hayward Electrical Contractors in the town for many years before selling the business in 2001.

The Argus:  Sussex Sharks v Gloucestershire, The Saffrons, in 2017 Sussex Sharks v Gloucestershire, The Saffrons, in 2017 (Image: Telephoto Images/REX/Shutterstock)

He played for Eastbourne CC from 1978 to 1987, captaining the team from 1983 to 1987 and stood down when they won the Sussex League title in 1987.

He was chairman of The Saffrons from 2007 to 2020, and helped navigate the club through some challenging financial times.

David was also member of the Royal Eastbourne Golf Club since 1987 and was captain in 2018. He also was manager of the club from 2003 to 2014.

The cricket club paid tribute to David saying he will be “hugely missed” and sent its condolences to his family.