One of Britain's best ever co-drivers, Rob Arthur has died at the age of 58 after suffering a heart attack last night.

Arthur, who had spent the last few years as president of the Southern Car Club, made his first appearance in the FIA World Rally Championship in 1981 on the Tour de Corse alongside Terry Kaby. The pair finished fifth overall in their Datsun 160J.

Arthur also co-drove for Tony Pond and it was with Pond that he took his best result in the WRC, with a third place on the 1985 RAC in a Metro 6R4.

Arthur later went on to work with Jimmy McRae, winning the British title in 1988 in a Ford Sierra Cosworth, as well as taking up a WRC co-ordinators role with Mitsubishi in the 1990s.

At the same time he and Rick Smith founded the 'Foot Rally' that took place in Thames Ditton. It followed the same format as a WRC round - only on foot! - while all the special stages were drinking games in pubs. During its five-year life the 'Foot Rally' raised over ?50,000 for 'The Children's Trust' at Tadworth in Surrey.

More recently Arthur was involved with the Ford KA and Puma series', before moving to France to enjoy semi-retirement.

Rob's funeral will take place on Friday in France, with a memorial gathering in the UK to follow.

Anyone wishing to make a donation in Rob's memory should send cheques to the following address and make them payable to 'The Children's Trust'.

'The Children's Trust Donation';
C/O Rick Smith;
Xenogamy Limited;
The Old Bakery;
55A Belmont Road;
Wallington;
Surrey;
SM6 8TE.

Messages of consoldence can also be sent to the same address.

"Rob's contribution to 'The Children's Trust' has been outstanding and he has made a life changing difference to so many children. That at least is some consolation for those who will miss him," said Liz Haig Reeve director of fundraising at 'The Children's Trust'.

Crash.net extends its deepest sympathies to all of Arthur's family and friends.

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