Tributes have been paid to a former sports stalwart who was awarded the highest honour in Hartlepool.
Keith Hewitson’s decades of service to Hartlepool Sports Council saw him made an Honorary Freeman of Hartlepool three years ago. He passed away recently.
Keith was part of Hartlepool Sports Council, which supports talented town sportspeople, for more than 40 years.
Friend David Young said: “As chairman of the Hartlepool Sports Council it is with great sadness I learned of Keith’s passing.
“Three years ago he was awarded the greatest accolade the borough of Hartlepool can bestow, the title of Freeman for services to the community and in particular sport. This is quite considerable.”
Keith attended the inaugural meeting of the sports council in 1973, representing Hartlepool Anglers Club, and was elected to the committee.
In 1985 he was elected to Honorary Treasurer, a post he held until 2016.
He was secretary of Hartlepool Angling Club for 18 years before becoming chairman in 1983.
Other posts Keith held included being a member of the Northumbrian Regional Fisheries Advisory Committee (1981-1989), Chairman of Durham County Federation of Anglers, Chairman of Dunelm Anglers Association, and Chairman of Hartlepool Yacht Club.
David added: “What time he had left he gave to the Seaman’s Mission on the Tees. Men of this ilk come our way rarely. A gentleman and friend.”
A service of thanksgiving was held on Tuesday at St George’s United Reformed Church.