A much-loved Catholic priest, who worked at an East Cowes church for 28 years, has died aged 99.

Father Brian Coogan worked and resided on the Island for 36 years and was a familiar face in the town, having been the parish priest at St David's Church.

He was born in Lancashire but spent many of his formative years in Yorkshire.

One of his great influences, as a young man, was the priest who was the inspiration for the Father Brown detective stories. This was later turned into a BBC television series.

Father Brian was ordained as a Catholic priest for the Mill Hill Missionary Society in 1947, before training as a teacher.

He worked in his beloved Borneo from 1952 to 1960 and is still fondly remembered by those he taught, including an ex-Prime Minister and two Bishops.

Upon his return to England, Father Brian taught in Lancashire then Basingstoke.

In 1986, at the age of 64, he was appointed as parish priest at St David’s in East Cowes, where he spent the next 28 years. 

In his younger years, he was an accomplished sportsman, who loved football, rowing and ice skating.

He gained the nickname of the ‘skating priest’ after setting up a skating club for young people on the Island.

Father Brian was also a keen musician who loved to play piano and encouraged musicians to join in religious services. 

His gift for working with young people resulted in one of the youngest parish communities on the Isle of Wight.

By the time he was asked to retire, sixty-five per cent of the congregation were under the age of 25. 

In 2014, he moved to Sandown and, with permission, continued to work as a priest.

By last year, his health had deteriorated and he agreed to move to a retired priests’ home in Lancashire.

Among his possessions was an amazing treasure trove of books, including ones in Hebrew and Greek.

His love of books led to him privately publishing one about his life earlier this year.

So far, it has raised more than £800 for his favourite charity Mary’s Meals, which provides food for impoverished children. 

Father Brian Coogan died in Lancashire on Thursday, March 16, accompanied by his old friend Peter Bradley-Fulgoni.