British Olympic bobsleigh champion Tony Nash has died at the age of 85 ©Getty Images

Tony Nash, the pilot of the only British Olympic bobsleigh team to win the gold medal, has died at the age of 85.

Nash took the two-man bobsleigh title with brakeman Robin Dixon at the Innsbruck 1964 Winter Olympic Games, becoming the first champions from Britain in the sport.

He died in his sleep a day before his 86th birthday, as confirmed by the British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association (BBSA).

Nash and Dixon also claimed the 1965 World Championship gold medal in St. Moritz - a feat that no other British men's team has replicated.

The pair later had a corner named after them at St. Moritz.

Only Nicola Minichiello and Gillian Cooke have otherwise won a world bobsleigh title, winning the two-woman event in 2009.

"Everyone at the BBSA offers our sincerest condolences to Tony's family following the sad news of his passing," said BBSA chair Joanna Poulton.

"Tony will always hold a special place in the sport of bobsleigh in this country and his achievements will continue to be remembered for many, many years to come.

"Hugely admired and respected throughout the world of bobsleigh, he was a pioneer who set the bar for all British bobsledders and he will remain someone to look up to as British bobsleigh athletes aim to emulate his achievements on the world stage."

At the 1964 Games, the Britons were helped by one of their rivals for the Olympic title, when Italian bobsleigh pilot Eugenio Monti - a two-time Olympic and nine-time world champion - helped to fix the Nash and Dixon's sled.

Monti and brakeman Sergio Siorpaes finished third in the end, with the Italian pilot later receiving the Pierre de Coubertin award for his sportsmanship.