Legendary hockey coach David Vinson has died aged 66.

Mr Vinson was at the helm at Southgate Hockey Club during the 1980s and the early 90s when its men’s first team won a host of national league and cup titles.

In 1977, he became only the fourth person worldwide to be appointed an International Hockey Federation (FIH) Master Coach.

At Southgate, he nurtured some of the country’s finest talent including Sean Kerly, Richard Dodds, Steve Batchelor and Robert Clift – who all struck gold at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

A major force in hockey coaching nationally, internationally and in his native East of England, he would think nothing of making regularly the 200-mile round trip from his home in King’s Lynn to Southgate.

A bachelor, he died on Wednesday following a long illness leaving a brother Ossey and sister Caroline.

Southgate chairman David Lloyd-Williams said: “David was a huge figure in the sport and incredibly important to Southgate.

“As well as bringing us great success on the field, he cemented the club's reputation for excellence at home and abroad.

“He was not only a sound tactician, but in terms of personal skills a quite brilliant innovator. He will be sadly missed.”

After the heady days of the mid-1970s, when Southgate won three European Cups in a row (from 1976-8), Mr Vinson had a hard act to follow.

But he did just that – in the 1980s Southgate’s men’s first team won five Cup titles (then known as the National Club Championship or Hockey Association Cup, in 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988), a European Cup bronze medal in 1983 and the inaugural National League title in 1989.

Mr Lloyd-Williams, who said he remembered fondly the day Southgate clinched its first – and only – national league title, said: “Thanks to David, the club benefited from a reliable stream of high quality East players.

“Some of these have gone onto successful coaching careers of their own, including the current England and GB ladies’ coach Danny Kerry.

“We are discussing with David's old club, Pelicans, holding a hockey match in his memory.”

A possible date for this is the Masters men’s hockey tournament – for 40-55 year olds – due to be at Southgate over the weekend of July 31-August 1.

Mr Vinson held various national coaching posts including being England men's coach twice and England men's U21s coach.

He was a Southgate vice-president and was awarded the club’s top honour, the Dunlop Award, in 1991.

Saggy Sagrott, of Pelicans Hockey Club in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, said: “David was a stalwart for Pelicans playing, coaching and a vice-president.

“He will fondly be remembered by many in the East, Southgate, England and GB hockey circles for his contribution and dedication to the game.

“Pelicans pass on their sympathies to Ossey, Caroline and the rest of his family at this time.”

His funeral will take place at 4pm on Friday, June 25 at Mintlyn Crematorium, Lynn Rd, Bawsey, Kings Lynn PE32 1HB.