MORE tributes have been paid to a Northumberland doctor who devoted her life to sports and her community.
Yesterday, The Journal told how Dr Ruth Fletcher, 60, surfaced unconscious from a dive in the North Sea on Sunday. She was airlifted to hospital but pronounced dead on arrival.
Dr Fletcher, who lived in Stocksfield, Northumberland, was a passionate sportswoman who competed to the highest levels.
She was determined to give something back to the community, becoming a director of Leisure Tynedale – now North Country Leisure – the charitable organisation which supports and develops many of the county’s sports services.
Anne Dale, councillor for Stocksfield, said Dr Fletcher’s influence was felt across the village and beyond.
“Ruth was a tremendous supporter of leisure in the area,” said Coun Dale. “She really wanted to take every opportunity to develop sport for the whole community.
“I would always see her running around Stocksfield. She will be missed by a lot of people – she was a lovely person.”
John Maude, chief executive of North Country Leisure, added: “Ruth was always a great champion of the customers and the staff, and a very valued member of the board. She had so much energy – she was full of enthusiasm, and always laughing.
“She loved her sports, and in a way it makes it more tragic that she died in these circumstances.”
Dr Fletcher loved fell running, kayaking and cycling as well as diving, and was a former world quadrathlon champion, North East fell running champion and Scottish 100k title holder.