THE secretary of Hereford Police Male Choir for virtually all of its 60 years existence has died aged 86.

Brian Williams was awarded the MBE for services to male voice singing and was nationally recognised as a true choir champion.

Born in Whitecross, Hereford, he joined the police force after national service with the army in Hong Kong and was one of the founders of the police choir when it was set up in 1957 to sing at a Hereford Cathedral celebration to mark the centenary of the old Herefordshire Constabulary.

It would later become open to men from all walks of life. Nurtured by Brian, a top tenor the choir achieved national acclaim when it performed on the BBC TV show, ‘Last Choir Standing.’

They are also regular performers at the London Welsh Festival of male voice choirs at the Royal Albert Hall. He was particularly proud of the Police Choir’s Young Musicians Bursary, an annual award of £1,000 to help a young musician in the two counties wanting to make a career in music.

Brian’s first posting as a policeman was at Bromyard, followed by Ewyas Harold and Peterchurch. When the West Mercia force was set up he and wife Margaret together with their family moved to Worcester where he was Inspector in the traffic department.

Choir chairman Ray Williams, a fellow retired police officer said after Brian's death on Sunday, that his contribution to the world of male voice singing has been immense.

"His untiring work running the police choir over six decades created an award winning choir giving men the opportunity to gain fellowship and friendships through their music while entertaining huge numbers in the audiences who enjoyed their singing," he added.

"He was especially proud of the close on £1m the choir has raised over the years for charity. He often referred to the choir as a ‘Band of Brothers’"

He is survived by his wife Margaret, five children, Biddy, Matthew, Katie, Annie and Sally, ten grandchildren and five great grandchildren. His eldest son Andrew died in 2013.

The funeral is at Hereford Crematorium on September 18 at 1.30pm.