Tributes have been paid to a Renfrewshire man who has been hailed as "a true basketball legend” after his death earlier this month.

Robert Taft helped countless local youngsters get into sport during a long association with his beloved basketball.

Known to his friends as Bob, he played a key role at a number of clubs, including St Mirren and Renfrew Rocks.

In a message posted on social media, a spokesperson for Renfrew Rocks said: “We are deeply saddened by the news of Bob’s passing and send our condolences to his wife Joan, son Robert and their extended family.

“Bob had a massive impact on basketball in Scotland, playing and coaching at all levels over decades.

“Renfrew, as a club, wouldn’t be where we are today without his influence as both a player and a coach.

“Rest in peace Bob, a true basketball legend.”

The sport’s governing body, Basketballscotland, also paid tribute.

It stated: “We are saddened to hear about the passing of Robert Taft.

“Robert was a familiar face in the community, having coached and played for Scotland’s national teams and at club level.

“His impact on basketball in Scotland will never be forgotten.”

Former Scotland player Kieron Achara added: “Bob meant so much to our basketball community and helped me and many others through my junior years as a player.”

Robert was born in Greenock in February 1956, the first of six children to Robert and Roberta, known as Ruby.

He attended the Mount School, in Greenock, and it was there that he was introduced to basketball.

In 1967, the school team were runners-up in the Scottish Schools Final.

Robert became an apprentice welder and later met Joan, from Langbank.

They moved to Paisley and he switched careers to become a postman before being accepted for training as a postal officer at Paisley Crown Office.

He went on to get an Honours degree in Criminology and became an investigations officer with the Post Office Investigation Department.

Just before he retired, Robert took a sideways move and became a crime risk manager for Royal Mail, based at the Underwood Road depot, in Paisley.

Robert was also an enthusiastic member of the Boys' Brigade, gaining his Queen's Badge, Duke of Edinburgh Award and The President’s Award.

He also became an officer and took bible class.

His years in basketball included spells with Team Glasgow, Falkirk, Clydebank and Cumnock.

Robert also helped to coach Scotland's Junior Men and Senior Men teams, alongside close friend Tom Campbell.

During his 10-year stint as a coach at St Mirren, he delivered their first Under-18 Scottish title and was named Scottish Basketball Coach of the Year.

Robert also played a key role at Renfrew Basketball Club, which grew from an after-school scheme he set up alongside Donnie Henderson.

This team went on to become Simons Renfrew and then Renfrew Rocks.

Robert's final coaching role was at The University of Strathclyde.

He died at home following a three-month battle with an aggressive form of cancer.

His family have thanked the palliative care team at Accord Hospice, in Paisley, for the kindness shown to him.

Joan said: "Robert loved winning but also took great care to develop players as young men – an ethos towards life stemming from his BB officer days.

"He was delighted that many of the youngsters he coached still play, either competitively or for leisure.

"He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

"It is for his smile and humour that Robert is also remembered. He had a keen sense of humour and could play many a prank on his team-mates."

Robert’s funeral will be held at the Hurlet Crematorium, in Barrhead, at 1pm tomorrow. A collection will be taken for Accord Hospice.