David Webster, a staunch servant of weightlifting in Britain has died aged 95 ©British Weight Lifting

 British Weight Lifting has led tributes to long serving official David Webster, who has died at the age of 95.

As a teenager, he had joined his brother Ronald as a member of the Aberdeen Health and Strength League and later studied for his degree in physical education.

Webster became chairman of Scottish weightlifting and the national coach in the sport, roles which took him to the 1960,1968 and 1972 Olympics.

He was a senior representative on the Scottish Council of Physical Recreation for 18 years and later served on the Scottish Sports Council.

Webster also worked as director of the Magnum Leisure Centre in Irving in Ayrshire.

"We bid farewell to the remarkable David Pirie Webster OBE (Order of the British Empire), who left an indelible mark on the world," British Weight Lifting chief executive Matthew Curtain said.

"In the realm of weightlifting, David Webster's contributions were immeasurable."

David Webster, centre, enjoyed a long relationship with the Commonwealth Games Movement in Scotland ©Team Scotland
David Webster, centre, enjoyed a long relationship with the Commonwealth Games Movement in Scotland ©Team Scotland

For much of his life, Webster had a close connection to the Commonwealth Games Movement in Scotland.

He joined what was then known as the Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland in 1957 and served as its vice-chairman from 1987 to 1990, and then chairman from 1990 to 1995.

At the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, he was appointed general team manager and was Chef de Mission in Kuala Lumpur at the 1998 Games.

“He was a real inspiration to all who met him and a driving force in the worlds of weightlifting, bodybuilding and Highland Games. Commonwealth Games Scotland owes him a debt of gratitude for over 65 years’ service in various roles," Commonwealth Games Scotland Chief Executive Jon Doig said.

Webster founded the National Amateur Bodybuilding Federation and was also organiser of the traditional Highland Games at Largs.

He saw the promotion of traditional Scottish sports, such as caber tossing and stone lifting, as a means to encourage tourism.

In 1980, he established the World Highland Games Heavy Events Championships, an annual event now staged across the world.

"The Highland Games passion captivated David as it has so many of us within the Scottish diaspora," Fergus Scottish Festival Ontario historian Lynn Boland Richardson said. 

Webster was also the host of the inaugural United Kingdom Strongest Man competition in 2004.

A prolific author, he promoted weightlifting with the written word and in 1976 produced The Iron Men, an illustrated history of the sport in conjunction with the International Weightlifting Federation.

A later book, a World History of the Highland Games, was published in 2022.

Webster, who died last Thursday (October 19), had been invested an OBE for his services to sport in 1995.