Friends and family are celebrating the life of a former trade unionist after he died at the age of 64.

Dave Knight - also affectionately known as Dod, a nickname he acquired at school - died on August 24 after being diagnosed with cancers earlier this year.

He touched many lives with his job and union roles and was the first editor of the The Orientear, the Leyton Orient fanzine.

Raised in Leyton, Mr Knight went to Leyton High School for Boys and made life-long friendships. He and his friends typically faced discipline when they turned up to run in the school’s annual cross-country race dressed and behaving as Monty Python Gumbies, falling over when the starting gun fired.

That bunch of school pals met a similar bunch from Leyton Girls and Mr Knight fell in love and married his life partner, Anne.

Mr Knight took up the career path of being a social worker at Hackney, then Islington Council and ultimately Waltham Forest Council.

Alongside this work, often dealing with families with extreme problems, he pursued his father’s socialist outlook and became active in the trade union NALGO which eventually became Unison. He was an active member and rep for the rest of his working life.

Mr Knight and his partner had two kids, Joe and Ellie. They also had dogs: Basil, Jelly and now Juno.

As a devoted Leyton Orient fan, he founded and became the first editor of The Orientear in 1986. The fanzine is still thriving today after 266 editions.

When the National Front started trying to organise on the terraces of his club, he wrote articles condemning the fascists and calling for the club and fans to act, which they did. He and his family received threats but they stood firm to keep the club inclusive and welcoming to all.

From an early age, Mr Knight was aware of the disadvantaged and was active in local charity CHAOS (Children’s Holidays And Other Specialities).

While working as a social worker he was involved in many union campaigns such as ratecapping and supporting the miners’ strike. Eventually he became branch secretary of Waltham Forest Council Unison, a position he held for more than twenty years.

Mr Knight was active in the local TUC group, Waltham Forest Trades Council, eventually holding the position of president for many years. In these roles he included other organisations dealing with equalities, employment and community issues.

One of his biggest successes was helping kitchen staff with an equalities employment tribunal, one resisted by Unison’s main office, which led to one of the first local authority equal pay successes of which there have been very many. The members affected received substantial back pay.

In the 1990s he took up running and joined the East London Runners. He ran with them several times a week, often taking the dog along, took part in many races and completed the London Marathon (and others) more than 15 times, raising thousands of pounds for good causes.

After his retirement from work, he joined the Orient’s walking football team.

Mr Knight enjoyed rock music, real beer and single malt whiskey.

He was a long-standing member of CAMRA and hosted several popular whiskey tasting events at his home.

He also attended Reading many times and hundreds of other gigs and festivals right up to the end of his life. He even managed to defy his illness and struggled across London on crutches to enjoy Mott the Hoople, the Legendary Shack Shakers and the Flamin’ Groovies.

Mr Knight's funeral will be held at The City of London Crematorium, Manor Park at 3.30pm on Monday, September 16.

A Just Giving page has been set up for donations to The Dogs Trust, a charity Dave supported: