John Brockwell, who has died at the age of 76, might be the only president of ACCA ever to possess a black belt in judo.

It is ironic that Brockwell should excel in the martial arts because he was known throughout his career as a caring and gentle man who was always ready to help anybody. He was also a highly respected accountant and filled a wide variety of roles, first in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and later as a financial controller with retailer Marks & Spencer.

But it was with ACCA that Brockwell found his greatest professional fulfilment. After qualifying in 1984, he served his fellow members in an array of roles and was elected president in 1999.

‘It was his proudest honour,’ says his widow, Sharon Brockwell. ‘He was 30 when I encouraged him to become qualified as an accountant and, typical of John, he studied all the different bodies very carefully before he made up his mind. He chose the ACCA Qualification because he shared its dedication to ethics and morals.’

After retiring from Marks & Spencer, Brockwell was eager to give back to the NHS

Flying the flag

In his year of office, Brockwell travelled the world flying the flag for ACCA, visiting many places including Sri Lanka, Australia and Hong Kong.

After retiring from Marks & Spencer, Brockwell was eager to give back to the NHS, and he worked as a personal trainer with patients after surgery to help them regain their strength and mobility. He also served as non-executive director and vice chairman of Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Trust.

As well as starring on the judo mat, Brockwell sailed, took part in the gig rowing world championships, and played rugby for Thornbury RFC.

He is survived by two daughters and a grandson from a first marriage, and a step-daughter and step-grandson.