A much loved martial arts teacher's tragic death from the Coronavirus has left the community stunned.

Dave Lee, 62, of Merton Road, Slough died at Wexham Park Hospital on Monday three weeks after being diagnosed with the illness.

His martial arts classes held for 20 years at the Rotunda in Slough and later at venues across the town touched thousands of lives.

Cllr Sabia Akram, deputy leader of Slough Borough Council, remembers how he encouraged her as a young girl.

She said: "He told me girls can do anything. He taught me how to protect myself as a woman, to keep my wits about me - he helped make me what I am today.

"He helped many young boys who might have been tempted to become involved with drugs, guiding them onto the right path through martial arts. Many will remember him as a community warden and a pastor in his church.

"He was a gentle soul, very approachable, never dictatorial. He touched thousands of peoples' lives but he was so humble."

Chairman of Wexham Court Parish Council Cllr Iftakhar Ahmed was a close friend who trained with Mr Lee.

He said: "He was always straightforward and honest. This is devastating."

Mr Lee also served as a community warden for both Slough Council and the neighbouring Royal Borough.

Royal Borough council leader Cllr Andrew Johnson said: "He was a valuable member of the community warden team providing support and reassurance to our community, especially in Maidenhead."

Mr Lee leaves his wife Rukshi, sons Aidan and Ryan, six brothers and two sisters.

His family came over to England from Sri Lanka when he was a teenager.

His son Aidan said that martial arts started as a necessary form of self-protection against racism, before becoming a career and a way of life.

Aidan is carrying on the tradition with his own FitRoots martial arts school at Ditton Park Academy.

He said: "My father was a very regal person who followed the principles of martial arts by being honourable and showing integrity, loyalty and discipline. I have happy memories of training with him when I was a boy of seven or eight, five or six times a week two hours a day.

"We weren't able to see him for almost two weeks before he died, so it has not been easy."