TRIBUTES have been paid to an Inverclyde charity champion and community activist who has died at the age of 65.

Robert 'Bob' Wilson, who was best known for his tireless work with Gourock Rotary Club, has passed away.

Born in Greenock's Holmscroft Street in November 1953, Bob set off for adventure in the Merchant Navy at 17 before joining the Ministry of Defence when he was 24, becoming a master mariner and marine superintendent at Faslane by retiral.

At 22, he married Gourock sweetheart Linda, whom he spent 44 happy years with, and together they had daughters Laura and Sarah and later welcomed grandchildren Sam, Jessica and Harlow.

With a growing family and a responsible job at the time, many would have felt they had enough to keep them occupied.

But Bob's enthusiasm for life led him in many directions, including to Gourock Rotary which he was a long-serving member and past president of.

He was the architect of the successful Hark in the Park - an annual music festival run by the club which provided a platform for Inverclyde performers to showcase their talents and a day out for voluntary groups and families while raising money for various charities.

Alan Roberston, president of Gourock Rotary, said: "As a past president and secretary, Bob was always inspiring, at the forefront of Rotary campaigns for local community and worldwide causes. "His sharp sense of humour will be greatly missed."

Bob also volunteered with CVS Inverclyde, teaching English to people as their second tongue and his passion for the language and literature led to him publishing a novel, 'Cape Wrath'.

He sang with Inverclyde Voices every week as well as serving on its board and the choir will pay their own tribute by singing at his funeral on Saturday.

Owing to his love of the sea, Bob also taught at Royal Gourock Yacht Club, where he put his years of maritime experience to good use.

After suffering a stroke in 2008, he bravely spoke out about the lasting effects it had on his health, including a loss of vision, in a bid to raise awareness of the lack of help available to victims and their families.

Bob, who lived in Inverkip, subsequently started the Stroke Matters support group and served on the board of charities Visibility Scotland and Greenock-based Your Voice.

Pat Burke, who runs Children In Poverty Inverclyde, today paid tribute to Bob.

He said: "Robert was a major influence to us in setting up our charity with his broad knowledge of the charity sector.

"He had a real zest for life, he made people feel good and he will be remembered fondly."

Bob's funeral takes place in Greenock Crematorium on Saturday at 11am.