Sporting ace died doing what he loved

w5473a637 Andy Petersens - Racketlon player Tingley.

w5473a637 Andy Petersens - Racketlon player Tingley.

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A RACKET sport player who represented the city more than 100 times has died aged 70.

Latvian-born Andy Petersons was ranked second in the world in the over 55s category of the World Racketlon Championships in Belgium in 2007.

He died on February 8 after suffering a heart attack while playing in a table tennis competition in Leeds.

Racketlon is like a triathlon only with rackets and four events, tennis, badminton, squash and table tennis.

Mr Petersons became interested in sports after coming to Britain as a refugee with his family during the Second World War.

He would play racket sports in the rehabilitation camps and when the family finally settled in a one-bedroom flat in Bradford, he joined sports clubs set up by the refugees themselves.

Best friend Andrew Fullen said: “He absolutely loved sport of every kind from snooker to chess, golf and boxing.

“He had not long returned from watching the Ashes in Australia when he died, where he had also played in the Aussie Millions poker competition and watched the Australian Open Tennis Championships.

“He was such a happy, larger than life character with a great sense of humour, who was really well-liked and had an encyclopedic knowledge of all sports. He never forgot his Latvian roots but he was as Yorkshire as a Yorkshire pudding.”

As well as being a popular sportsman, Mr Petersons was also well-known in the city for his work as a dentist.

After attending Leeds University, the stepfather-of-two worked at a number of practices including Don Watson’s on Bond Street and Crigglestone High Street.

His funeral will take place at Wakefield Crematorium at 10am today. Donations in lieu of flowers to the British Heart Foundation and the Redwings Horse Sanctuary Adoption Scheme.