THE managing director of a large recycling firm, which used to be based in Ellesmere Port, has died at the age of 65 during a holiday in Spain.
John Connor was the founder of Stirling Fibre, Scotland's largest independent paper and plastics recycling business.
The company was formed in 1977. Before this Mr Connor worked in the Merchant Navy.
In 1995 the company was sold to Bridgewater Paper Co at Ellesmere Port and it developed the procurement of up to 7,000 tonnes per week of newspapers and magazines.
Mr Connor remained as managing director of Stirling Fibre and, in 1999, he bought parts of the business back and the company was relocated to Croy near Kilsyth, Scotland.
The company has been run in recent years by Mr Connor with two other co-directors, his son Forbes and finance director Stephen Nicol.
In Scotland he was known for his involvement in the community having put £150,000 into local youth awards and he was also a strong supporter and funder of local rugby.
Mr Nicol said: “John will be sadly missed at work and for his involvement in the community.
“His death leaves us with a massive hole that has to be filled but we have the experience within the company to build on his legacy and to develop further.”
Ron Humphreys, managing director of AbitibiBowater Recyling Europe, which is part of the Bridgewater Paper Co, said: “John was one of the leading lights of the industry.
“He was well-known in the recycling business not only for his knowledge and expertise, but also for his generosity.
“John will be missed both in the industry and to many more and to me as a valued and dear friend.”
Mr Connor was also a long-serving member of the recycling council of the Confederation of Paper Industries.