Tributes have been paid to the oldest living British Olympian from Tooting who has died aged 101.

Bill Lucas competed in the 1948 London Olympics, running in the 5,000 metre race. Although he didn’t make it past the heats, he competed against the great Emil Zatopek.

He was 32 when he competed in 1948 Olympics, with food still being rationed in the aftermath of the war.

Carl Lawton, chairman and president of the Belgrave Harriers, an athletics club based in Wimbledon and Battersea said: “He was the longest serving member at the club” while paying tribute to Bill.

He had been a member of the Belgrave Harriers for 82 years, having joined in 1936 and was a trustee at the club up until his death.

Ray Middleton, a long standing member at the club said: “Farewell to a great Belgravian. They just don’t make them like Bill anymore.”

Bill, a war veteran, was also the country’s oldest living Bomber Command Pilot.

In 1940, Bill joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve after initially being deemed unsuitable as he had an enlarged heart with an uneven beat. However, he managed to convince doctors that it was due to his training as distance runner.

A squadron leader, he flew more than 80 missions as a pilot of heavy bombers, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross during the war.

Lucas said his call-up to the Royal Air Force deprived him of winning an Olympic medal, missing the opportunity to compete in the 1940 and 1944 Olympics as they were cancelled.

Away from Olympic competing, he won various titles and won medals at ten London to Brighton Relays for the athletics club.

After retiring from athletics competing in 1954, Bill switched his attention to the administration of the sport. He became president at many clubs such as Surrey County, Southern Counties Cross County, Southern Counties A.A.A, the South of the Thames Cross County Association and the South of the Thames Cross Country club.

Later in his life, Bill lived in Cowfold, West Sussex and leaves behind his wife, Sheena and two children.