DR ALAN Birchall, who has died aged 59, was a dedicated public servant, a former Mayor of Didcot and a research scientist in radiation protection who lectured all over the world.

Dr Birchall served on Didcot Town Council for twelve years including a term as Mayor in 1997/98 and chairman of finance.

He was a research scientist working in the field of radiation protection at Public Health England and had a PhD in Health Physics which led him to lecture all over the world, from USA to Russia and Korea.

He also had a black belt in judo and coached hundreds of youngsters in Didcot and surrounding areas for many years.

Alan Birchall was born in Bolton in 1957 and grew up in Lancashire, where he was schooled before going to Durham University.

He graduated with a degree in physics in 1978 and moved to Oxfordshire in the same year, taking a job at the National Radiological Protection Board, which later became part of Public Health England.

He later moved to Didcot with his first wife Annie Birchall, who would also serve as Mayor of Didcot, and the couple had three children Zoe, Tom and Samantha.

Later in his life the pair would divorce and he married his second wife Olga Birchall.

A lifelong member of the Labour party he threw himself into a voluntary career as a public servant, on the town council for twelve years in a variety of different roles.

He was a trustee of charity Didcot Unknown Donors, for more than 20 years, and changed its name from Poor of Didcot Charity shortly after becoming Mayor in May 1997.

Intent on helping out scores of families who were struggling to make ends meet, he made Didcot Unknown Donors his chosen charity of the year as Mayor.

Aside from his service to the community he was also an accomplished judo instructor - having started the sport aged 15 and gaining a black belt - and coached hundreds of youngsters at The White Horse Judo Club in Didcot.

He was passionate about the sport, and the fitness and discipline it engendered in its participants and he instilled a love of the sport in countless children over the years.

He retired from his job as a research scientist at Public Health England last year.

He died on April 6 after a long battle with cancer and is survived by his wife Olga, three children, Zoe, Tom and Samantha, and stepdaughter Sofya.

His funeral will be held at South Oxfordshire Crematorium on Wednesday April 26 at 10am, where there will be collections for Sobell House Hospice and Cancer Research.