Felixstowe: Tributes pour in for former manager of GB Paralympic archery team
He was an inspiration, living life to the full and never letting his disability hold him back.
Archer David Hilton led the GB Paralympic archery team at the Athens games in 2004.
But today the friends and family of the much-loved 55-year-old will gather to remember him.
Travelling from all corners of the country, people will pay tribute to David, of Oak Close, Felixstowe, at his funeral, after he suffered a heart attack and died on December 4.
David, who had his leg amputated when he was 18, took part in a number of sports including wheelchair archery and wheelchair rugby.
His brother Philip, 52, told The Evening Star of his pride at watching David follow his dreams.
“David was never one to let his disability get the better of him, rather living life to the full, travelling the world and making friends wherever he went,” he said.
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“It is desperately sad that David’s life should end at 55, but we can rest assured that he was one of those who can leave us with the feeling that he achieved what he set out to do and his was not a life that was filled with ‘what ifs’.
“Well done David, we are very proud of you.”
Pauline Betteridge, chairman of the British Wheelchair Archery Association, worked with David, who was secretary of the association.
She added: “We were extremely shocked and saddened to hear of his sudden death. It leaves a big hole in our association because David was very active.
“Many people across the world will know him, we will just miss him so much. He was loved by a lot of people, I can’t emphasise that enough.
“Whoever he came into contact with they all thought a great deal of David.”
An avid member of a number of organisations, David was instrumental in a number of disability sports and heavily involved with international tournaments at Stoke Mandeville.
Roy Gray, who employed David at Worldfast, said: “His disability never stopped him. If something was going on, he’d do it.”
The family have thanked friends for their support and said they were moved by the amount of people who have been in touch to share their thoughts.
What are your memories of David? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or you can send an e-mail to us at firstname.lastname@example.org