A PROMINENT Huddersfield businessman and musician tragically died while on holiday.

Anthony Elon Crowther, 69, died after going for a lunchtime swim off his 37ft-yacht Sonata, moored at the Greek holiday town of Koroni.

The grandfather-of-11 was found drowned and floating face-down in the water by his wife Tina.

His death has been described as the result of a tragic swimming accident.

Friend Simon Stembridge said: “He was a gentle, kind and generous man, gregarious, intelligent, inquisitive, relaxed and humorous, always interested in others.

“A man of many talents, great kindness, modesty and generosity of spirit.”

Mr Crowther, known as Tony, was born in Slaithwaite but grew up in Beaumont Park.

He attended St David’s Preparatory School before going to Wrekin College in Shropshire. He studied wool textiles at Huddersfield Technical College from 1959, where he met wife Tina.

After marrying in 1965, they moved to Sowood near Outlane and later Carr Hall in Holywell Green.

Mr Crowther joined the family textile firm, Elon Crowther and Sons Ltd of Slaithwaite, which had been started by his grandfather in 1924.

He worked with his father, Alfred, in the sales side of the business. His cousin, Henry, worked in production.

Elon Crowthers, at Upper Mills, Swallow Lane, flourished through the 1960s to the 1980s, employing some 300 people at its peak.

Outside of work, music was among Mr Crowther’s real passions.

He studied music, specialising in the piano and the clarinet, at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where he obtained his Diploma.

In his mid-teens he became a member of the Huddersfield Philharmonic Society.

His mother, Margaret Binns, was leader of the orchestra for many years and later he was joined by his sister, Julia, a talented violinist.

Initially he played first clarinet, later the bassoon and then the contra-bassoon.

He was still an active member of the orchestra in the 2008-2009 season.

General secretary Stuart Sandys said: “Tony was a very quiet, refined chap, one of nature’s gentlemen. He was very musical.

“Everyone is saddened and shocked by the news.”

Mr Crowther was also a passionate engineer and spent time restoring an old water wheel and installing it at an old mill dam behind Carr Hall.

He and Mrs Crowther also spent three years restoring an ancient Norman tower near Lecce in the Puglia region of southern Italy.

He owned and restored many classic and vintage cars and was a talented amateur racing driver.

In 2002, the Crowthers moved to the village of Staveley in North Yorkshire.

Mr Crowther died on September 4.

As well as Mrs Crowther, he leaves children, Paul, Zoe and Daniel, and his 11 grandchildren.

His funeral will be held at All Saints Church, Staveley at 11am next Tuesday.