A MUCH-loved Malvern “mince pie man” fundraiser and actor has died at the age of 94.

Tom Clapton, of Barnards Green, was a well-known figure in the community and died on August 3.

A member of the famous Worcester baking family, Tom Clapton was born in the city in 1926 and educated at RGS Worcester, where he became a fine rugby player, playing full-back.

He served with the Cameronians during his national service and was described by an officer as “clean, smart and energetic, a good type of soldier, would make a good NCO”

Mr Clapton worked in the family business for more than a decade before leaving to work in local government administration.

Retirement to Malvern in 1984 with his wife Elizabeth meant he could be busier than ever, acting in many productions by Worcester’s Lychgate players and later Malvern Theatre Players.

His last performance came in a 2011 cameo during a production of Arnold Ridley’s The Ghost Train.

An avid walker and Scottish country dancer, Mr Clapton also became well-known for his fundraising efforts for many charities, including Cancer Research UK, Save the Children, the RNLI and Malvern Community Hospital, where he was given a special award for his work in 2013.

He also received Malvern Rotary Club’s Community Award in 2015 and for more than 20 years helped run Malvern’s Charity Christmas Card Shop at the headquarters of local charity ARCOS.

Mr Clapton’s son Nick said: “The one thing about Tom Clapton that will most linger in many people’s minds, or perhaps their taste buds, are his wonderful mince pies.

“For nearly three decades he turned his inherited baking talent to good effect, producing dozens and dozens of them for parties and fund-raising events, over half-a-million all told.

"The key to their superlative quality is still a family secret.”