Volunteer Roger Henry was surprised and delighted to be awarded a Torch Trophy Trust award for his contribution to tennis in Wiltshire.

The trust is a charitable organisation that recognises sports volunteers for their work within their communities.

The 70-year-old, of Ashley Piece in Ramsbury, was nominated for his involvement with Wiltshire County Lawn Tennis Club Association and Ramsbury Tennis Club, where he has volunteered for 40 years.

He was unable to attend the award ceremony last month because he was on a golfing holiday in Spain, so Ramsbury Tennis Club’s treasurer Ian Smith received the award from Princess Anne on his behalf.

Mr Henry said: “I was shocked and completely honoured.

“The LTA (Lawn and Tennis Association) have their own awards, which I was nominated for, and I heard back from them to say that they had received a number of nominations of merit and I had not been successful this time. What I didn’t know was that the LTA had forwarded my nomination for this national award.

“I found out about a month before the award ceremony and the trip was already planned. It was a shame that I couldn’t be there but unfortunately it just wasn’t possible to change plans and Ian had a nice time.”

Mr Henry stepped down from his role as chairman at Ramsbury Tennis Club 2004 but continues to run the junior section and co-ordinate the coaching programme.

He said: “Tennis is my life. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it.

“I don’t know what I’d do without the club and the recreation centre because I’m involved in that too.

“I’ve had a lot of emails congratulating me from people that I’ve coached and inspired in the past which has been nice.”