A BOWLS champion who lived in Oxford his entire life and worked at numerous city institutions has passed away.

Leslie Aldridge was a founder member of Blackbird Leys Bowls Club in 1966 and stayed there his whole life, winning countless competitions and bringing many trophies home for the club.

He also worked at the Nuffield Press, founded by motor magnate William Morris, as well as Oxford University's Keble College.

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He was a loving husband, devoted father and grandfather, a passionate gardener and a generous and loyal friend.

He passed away peacefully in his sleep on April 4, aged 89, and his family have said he was reunited with his wife Rita, who passed away in June 2016.

Leslie Aldridge, known to friends as Les, was born in Oxford to parents Mable and Sidney Aldridge on March 24 1931.

He had six siblings – Ivy, Sid, Dot, Mavis, Brian and Pat.

Growing up in Canning Crescent off Abingdon Road he went to New Hinksey Primary School on Vicarage Road.

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He met Rita Forster on Donnington Bridge, where they crossed paths on the way to work.

When they first started courting, Mr Aldridge took Miss Forster dancing, but because he had ‘two left feet’ they soon started going to the cinema instead.

They were married on September 4, 1954, at the parish church in St Clements.

After they were married they lived in Normandy Crescent.

Their first daughter, Debbie, was born in 1961, followed by Karen in 1963.

The family moved to Blackbird Leys in May 1964 and the family was completed when their son Martyn was born there in 1968.

They lived in the same house for the rest of their lives.

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Mr Aldridge started off his working career as an optician at Robert Stanley’s in Beaumont Street.

He later went on to work for Minty’s furniture and then moved to the Nuffield Press where he worked as a book binder.

He stayed at the press until he retired, however even after his supposed retirement he carrying on working at Keble College as a caretaker.

During his teenage years he played football for Balliol boys' club with his longtime friend George Dawson.

He would cycle for 15 miles for a game with no showers, and cycle home still wearing his football strip.

With no sponsors for the club, the young players would often go out onto the pitch sporting odd kits as well as odd socks.

However Mr Aldridge became far more well known across Oxford for his bowling.

After helping to found Blackbird Leys Bowls Club in 1966 , he stayed there all his bowling life.

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He became a regular Middleton Cup player and in 1981 he, his brother-in-law Keith Forster and their fellow players Ken Peaper and Gordon Roper won the county fours, and even repeated the success in 1991.

In between those two titles in 1984 Mr Aldridge won the converted county singles championship.

As well as his beloved bowls, his family said he also loved gardening, watching football, listening to 1960s pop group The Seekers and was also extremely gifted at needle work.

His granddaughter Carlee Loveday said: "Everyone took their clothes to him to be altered.

"He liked to keep busy and was always on the go.

"He often took the vegetables he had grown to friends, family and neighbours and nobody left the house without something from the garden.

"He was a loving father and also a doting grampy to Carlee, Chloe, Ellie, Livvy and Wil, and father-in-law to Graham, Allen and Sally.

"He had lots of friends and will be greatly missed by many."

A private funeral has taken place but his family are also hoping to hold a memorial service at some point in the future.