FORMER police constable, IW Mencap founder and accomplished sportsman Peter Hunt has died aged 88.

The only son of Reg and Alison — former publicans at the Star Inn, Niton — Mr Hunt was born in St John’s Wood in London.

Leaving school at 14, he took his first steps into employment at a tailors and as part of the national press.

In 1952, after completing his national service in the RAF police, Mr Hunt joined the Metropolitan Police stationed in Bow Street, transferring to the Met's Mounted Branch after a couple of years as a foot constable.

Stationed at Great Scotland Yard and later Tooting, Mr Hunt met his wife-to-be, Brenda, at a police dance.

He proposed on the top deck of a London bus and they married in Mitcham in 1954.

In 1963, after his parents moved to the Island and his eldest child was diagnosed with additional needs, Mr Hunt joined the Hampshire Constabulary and was posted to Calbourne.

After leaving the police in 1969, he managed Pittis and Son estate agents in Ventnor, before he and his wife became landlords of the Row Barge Inn, Bembridge.

Three years later, Peter became animal health inspector for the Isle of Wight Council, and during this time he was the coordinator for managing and containing the foot and mouth outbreak in 1981.

It was his last permanent role before retirement in 1993.

Aside from his career, Mr Hunt was a respected sportsman, holding the position of captain of the Sunday first XI at Ventnor Cricket Club from 1968 to 1970.

He joined Ryde Golf Club and became seniors captain, becoming president in 2000. He organised several annual golf day matches to raise funds for IW Mencap — a charity of which he and Mrs Hunt were founders.

In addition, Mr Hunt served from 1969 to 1991 with the Auxilliary Coastguard. Starting at Brook, he later served in Ventnor and Bembridge.

He received a letter of commendation in 1986 for saving a man’s life and was awarded the Long Service medal in 1992.

Mr Hunt enjoyed retirement, and as well as his sporting and charitable endeavours was keen on sailing, motor boating, travel and painting.

He leaves his wife, three children and three grandchildren.

A funeral service will take place at 12 noon on Wednesday, July 29, at Holy Cross in Binstead, followed by committal at the crematorium. Numbers are limited at both venues due to current restrictions.