TRIBUTES came in today for Kevin Collinge, the man who ran Huddersfield's magnificent McAlpine Stadium.
His sudden death in Spain shocked many.
Mr Collinge was in Spain on holiday with his wife, Christine. He is thought to have suffered a heart attack.
He arrived at the stadium in 1993 to become marketing manager and took over as chief executive in 1996.
During his career at the stadium he organised tremendously successful rock concerts and was involved in bringing Rugby League Tests to the ground.
He and his wife had twin daughters Jennifer and Joanne and he leaves grandchildren.
He was a self-confessed sports fan and loved soccer, rugby and golf.
Sir John Harman, who chairs the Kirklees Stadium development company, said: "It is a tremendous shock and difficult to take in.
"Kevin was the rock behind the stadium's management, having been enthusiastically involved in the project since its inception in the early 1990s and its chief executive since late 1996.
"As, originally, commercial manager, it was Kevin who was responsible for, and so successful in, generating the income from corporate entertainment, executive boxes and stadium board advertising, and `selling' the stadium to outside investors," added Sir John.
"He was a man of great integrity, highly respected by all who worked with him, or who came into contact with him. His sad death leaves a huge gap in the stadium organisation."
Mr Ken Davy, chairman of Huddersfield Giants and Huddersfield Town, said: "It is so incredibly sad. He will be sadly missed by all who are familiar with the stadium.
"We are going to find it difficult to come to terms with his death. He had played such a major part in the development of the stadium".
Clr John Smithson, deputy leader of Kirklees Council and a director of the stadium company, said: "It is a tremendous shock.
"Kevin played a very important role at the stadium and a lot of its success has been down to his efforts."
Clr Smithson said Mr Collinge had negotiated to get both semi-finals of the Rugby League Challenge Cup staged at the stadium last season - for the first time ever.
Over the past few weeks, he had been working on arrangements for the Test match between Great Britain and Australia, which will be at the McAlpine on November 22.
Clr Smithson added: "Most of the events at the stadium have materialised due to his hard work."