A FORMER Oxford University academic was reportedly trampled to death by a herd of cows.

Brian Bellhouse was named as the 80-year-old victim who was tragically killed by the animals in a field in East Sussex yesterday. 

Magdalen College paid tribute to the former professor, who has a scholarship set up in his name.

Police and paramedics battled to save a man's life in in Guestling on Monday morning, who has since been named locally as Professor Bellhouse.

A spokesman for Sussex Police said the death was not being treated as suspicious and had been passed to the coroner's office.

He said: "An 80-year-old man died after being found trampled in a field of cattle at Church Lane, Guestling. 

"Police and paramedics performed CPR after being called at 11.02am and an air ambulance landed at the scene, but he was sadly pronounced dead at 11.46am."

Magdalen College posted a touching tribute on its website remembering Professor Bellhouse, who joined Magdalen in 1957 to read mathematics.

It said: "The college is very sad to announce that Professor Brian Bellhouse has passed away at the age of 80. 

"He obtained his DPhil in Engineering Science in 1964 and was then made a Fellow by Examination.

"He was elected an Official Fellow in Engineering Science in 1966. On his retirement in 2004 he was elected an Emeritus Fellow.

"Brian was a major donor to the college and endowed the Oxford-Bellhouse Graduate Scholarship at Magdalen in biomedical engineering."

The post said Professor Bellhouse co-founded a company in 1993 called PowderJect; a pharmaceuticals company that was bought out in 2003 for £542m. 

The college said: "It became one of the first companies to be spun-out successfully from the University of Oxford and was based at our Oxford Science Park."

The Telegraph reports that Professor Bellhouse lived in East Sussex and was father to three daughters.