A well-known and respected Ballingry man who fought for, and captained, his country across the world in martial arts has passed away.

Bill Bishop, who was 77, died peacefully on November 12 at Victoria Hospital and a large number of tributes have been paid from both the Benarty community, and those who knew him through his passion for his sporting endeavours.

Born in Cowdenbeath, in 1943, Bill continued to live in the area after leaving school but, a few years later, would move to Ballingry and set up his family home.

A father to eight children – and, subsequently, a grandfather and great grandfather in later years – he was employed in various areas, which included working with the Water Board and then in the pits as a miner with the National Coal Board, at Seafield, Solsgirth and Castlehill, the latter two of which connected with Longannet, near Kincardine.

Bill finished his working life in the construction industry as a groundsworker with a variety of firms in the central belt but, in his spare time, martial arts was his biggest interest.

After initially beginning to train in judo, Bill moved on to jujitsu and budo weapon training training, but it was in karate where his his passion and success was most evident.

He trained in traditional Okinawan and Japanese style training, achieving grades in the Shotokan, Goju ryu and Seibukan styles, before latterly becoming a Seventh Dan in Seibukan.

In addition to being a founder member of the Scottish Amateur Karate Association, Bill formed Scottish Karate Renmei, and Seibukan Karate Do Scotland, and went on to fight for, captain and manage Scottish Seibukan karate teams that competed across the world.

As well as having such national and global distinction, Bill achieved a number of individual kata and sparring titles, and numerous team titles, over the years and, at one time, even had as many as six different clubs operating simultaneously across different areas of Fife.

His brand of karate travelled with him across the country during a 10-year stint in the Territorial Army, and in addition to teaching across the world, Bill also formed a demonstration team that provided displays for galas, charities and martial arts courses and taught self defence classes for both males and females of all ages.

Described by his family as being "well known for his strong opinion and never changing his mind on things" Bill, who was a frequent letter writer to the Times, continued to train at home until he was in his late sixties.

His funeral, which was held at Kirkcaldy Crematorium on November 25, was organised by Benarty Funeral Directors and, on their Facebook page, a large number of tributes have been left by those who knew him from across the Benarty and martial arts communities.

A family spokesperson added: "The family have had messages from people all over the world who trained with Bill or met him over the years.

"He will be sadly missed by his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and also by a lot of people in the local community."