TRIBUTES have been paid to a "perfect gentleman".

A popular dentist and the longest serving member of the Rotary Club of Radcliffe, has died at the age of 87.

The family of Graham Taylor, who ran a dental surgery in Whitefield for more than 30 years, have paid tribute to their father and grandfather.

Son Alan Taylor said: "Most people would have described him as a true gentleman — even if he disagreed with someone, he would not want to fall out with them. He was a very friendly man.

"He was a dental surgeon and very popular in that respect among his patients. He was well-liked. He always enjoyed his work and he enjoyed being able to help and serve people.

"He liked his sport. When he was younger, he played cricket, tennis and football. He used to take me to watch Bury — and he retained that interest. Even in hospital, he was asking me to read him the football scores.

"We have always been a very close family. He thought the world of his family and of his granddaughter."

In September last year, Mr Taylor and his wife Myra celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. The couple received a card from the Queen congratulating them on the occasion.

Mr Taylor was born in Rochdale but grew up in Bury — the family is believed to have relocated with his father's work in banking — and spent the last 40 years of his life in Starling.

He trained as a dental surgeon at the University of Manchester, qualifying in 1955, and, following his military service, he began his career at a Whitefield surgery in 1957.

In about 1960, he took over the practice in Bury New Road, and it was renamed Graham Taylor dental surgery. He employed a number of people over the years but wound down the business in his late 50s, preceding his retirement in 1992.

Other interests included the Rotary Club of Radcliffe, of which he was the longest serving member at 48 years.

Rotarian Peter Sillett said: "He was a perfect gentleman. He was a private man. He did so much in the background. He would never offend a soul.

"He always wanted to help those who were less fortunate — that is why he joined the Rotary."

Mr Taylor was on the very first Rotary Santa sleigh — the biggest annual fundraiser for the organisation — in the 1980s, and he served as president between 1984-1985.

More recently, in the last 15 to 20 years, Mr Taylor was a committed member of Turton Probus Club.

The Rotary Club of Radcliffe said: "Graham had a long history with us — 48 years — and was an active member until the last few years when old age and health problems caught up with him. He has held just about every office in Rotary."

Mr Taylor died peacefully in his sleep at Fairfield General Hospital on Thursday, January 3.

He leaves behind wife Myra, son Alan, and granddaughter Charlotte.