PIONEERING publisher, keen drummer and critically acclaimed poet David Attwooll has died, aged 67.

During a 19-year career with Oxford University Press he worked to launch the Oxford Paperback Reference - more than 100 dictionaries on subjects from astronomy to zoology - and the Oxford World's Classics collections.

In the 1980s he published the first British Encyclopedic CD ROMs while working for Random House.

At the age of 60 he decided to try something new every month for a year and took up poetry, publishing three pamphlets and a collection which was shortlisted for a number of national awards.

His daughter Kate described him as a wonderful father and the most modest of men "instantly filling those who knew him with a welcoming sense of human possibility and human kindness."

He was also a drummer with local band The Horns of Plenty, and was also chairman of the board of trustees for Oxford Contemporary Music.

David Attwooll was born in Twickenham in 1949 to parents Derek, a civil engineer, and Dorothy, nee Hunt.

He grew up in Thames Ditton and at the age of 13 went to Lancing College in West Sussex, where he formed his first band, The Blues Roar, and started his amateur cricket career.

In 1967, David was the first of his family to go to university, earning a scholarship to Pembroke College, Cambridge.

It was there that his love of literature and music flourished; he published poems in student magazines and became the founding drummer of the avant-rock band Henry Cow, supporting Pink Floyd at the college ball.

His first graduate job took him to Oxford University Press in 1970.

He launched the World’s Classics, Oxford Paperback Reference, and Past Masters series, and spent two years in New York setting up a new reference department.

At the end of the 80s he moved to Random Century (now Penguin Random House UK) in London, where he launched the Vintage and Red Fox imprints, and published the first British Encyclopedia CD-Roms.

He married his Trish Cowan in 1979 and the couple had three children Will, Tom and Kate and lived in East Oxford.

In 1992, he led a management buyout at Random Century and set up Helicon, his own reference publishing company, where he developed the first online Hutchinson Encyclopedia.

Seven years later, he sold the successful business to WH Smith and set up Attwooll Associates, an award-winning licensing consultancy.

David started writing poetry again at the age of 60, and within a few years had earned national acclaim.

He published three pamphlets, Surfacing (2013), Ground Work (2014), and Otmoor (2016), and one collection, The Sound Ladder (2015).

At the time of his death, he was working on a second collection, which may be published as his collected works next year.

He was a vital part of the Oxford community, living in East Oxford, drumming in a street band, playing cricket, and chairing diverse cultural and professional organisations.

He died suddenly from Erdheim Chester disease on August 5 this year.

He is survived by his wife Trish and children Will, Tom and Kate.