TRIBUTES have been paid to a much-loved former Stourbridge GP and champion chess player who has died, aged 86, following a brief illness.

Dr Brian Dudley, a well-liked GP at the old Worcester Street surgery, passed away in September, and a funeral service was held to celebrate his life this week.

Brian, a former King Edward VI Grammar School pupil, was a keen bird watcher and a fervent supporter of Worcestershire cricket team – but his main hobby was playing chess.

While playing for the school’s chess team, Brian was talent-spotted and asked to play for Stourbridge Chess Club in a friendly match against Birmingham. From 1945, he had an unbroken membership of the club until he passed away last month.

During his time at King Edwards, he played for the school team in the Cobham Trophy (Division 2 of the Worcestershire county league) and also for Stourbridge in numerous friendlies against local teams, and on leaving school, he studied medicine at Birmingham University and became a member of one of the strongest university teams of the era.

Brian then served in the RAF for his national service, but continued to play for Stourbridge when on leave.

After he became a GP at the Worcester Street surgery he played chess regularly for Stourbridge, captaining the first team and leading them to several county and Birmingham league titles.

He became president of Worcestershire Chess Association and captain of its first team in the 1970s, being named Worcestershire individual champion for the first time in 1961 and regaining the title in 1965, 1970 and 1972.

Eric Horwill, Stourbridge Chess Club president, said: “To state that Brian has been the mainstay of Stourbridge Chess Club for many decades is a gross understatement.

“He has been chairman, secretary, treasurer and president, as well as first team captain.

“He will be sadly missed.”

Brian was the devoted husband to Sheila, much-loved father to daughter Fiona and partner Eric, son Michael and partner Emily, and granddad to Annie and Finn.