Former Oxford police chief inspector Eric Tucker, who has died aged 96, was once given up for dead.

After he stopped a stolen car in Oxford, the driver sped off with Pc Tucker clinging to the vehicle. The car careered through Littlemore, Sandford-on-Thames and Nuneham Courtenay, swerving round the Golden Balls round-about and throwing him into a pile of hedge clippings.

Colleagues found his helmet and truncheon at Rose Hill, assumed he was dead and told his parents to expect the worst. But he staggered to a police house and the driver was caught and prosecuted.

Years later, Pc Tucker was in a Dorset pub when he met the driver and graciously bought him a drink.

Mr Tucker was born in South Wales and trained as a grocer but was persuaded to join the police in 1936.

He married his wife Nancy two years later.

Mr Tucker was promoted to detective sergeant, then inspector before spending two years as an instructor at Eynsham Hall. He retired after 30 years, joining the motor taxation department and Southern Electricity Board as a security officer.

In retirement he enjoyed gardening, bowls and fishing. As a young Pc, he played football, cricket and table tennis for the city force, winning the regional table tennis championship.

Mr Tucker, whose wife died in 2007, lived in North Hinksey before moving to Freeland House care home at Freeland, where he died on Tuesday, February 21.

He leaves sons Roger and Paul, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, one of whom, Hannah, was born three days before his death. His funeral is at Oxford Crematorium on Monday at 12.45pm.