TONY Taylor — funeral director, freemason and keen sportsman — has died aged 81.

Mr Taylor was born in 1938 to Stuart and Dorothy Taylor and was the grandson of H.V Taylor, the Ryde mayor who set up the family business — a funeral directors — in 1905.

Mr Taylor threw himself into the family business in 1973, working alongside his father to expand the company before retiring in 1997.

The business is still running today, based in Ryde.

Throughout his life he was a devoted sportsman, captaining for Binstead Football Club and playing for the Ryde Casuals cricket team.

He discovered a love for golfing during his retirement, joining Ryde Golf Club after learning at Westridge.

In 1961 he married Diana Cooper and the couple had two children, Sarah and Ian, and three grandchildren, Hannah, Rosalee and Stuart.

Mr Taylor was a keen freemason, entering in 1974 and receiving numerous provincial honours, becoming grand officer of several lodges on the Island.

Mr Taylor died following a six-week stay at Mountbatten Hospice.

A funeral service will be held at Ryde Parish Church on August 12 at 12pm.