FRANK Stead was a highly-skilled auto-electrician who set up one of Huddersfield's best-known small businesses.

Mr Stead, who has died aged 63, formed his own company in the early 1970s. It now employs more than 20 people.

Mr Stead, of Almondbury, died in Kirkwood Hospice, Dalton, after a two-year battle against cancer.

He started out in business as Frank Stead Electrical Contractor in 1972. The firm changed its name to Stead Electrical in the mid-1980s. At that time it was based in the Hoyer UK bulk liquid transport complex off Leeds Road, Huddersfield, and Mr Stead became an expert on the Hoyer tankers' electrical systems.

His son, Andrew, said his father had an uncanny ability to strip everything back to basics.

"We would look at complex electrical diagrams, yet he could trace everything down to its smallest component," he said. "He had a knack of making everything sound simple."

About 10 years ago Stead Electrical became Select Maintenance and four years ago left Leeds Road. It is now based at Laund Road in Salendine Nook, where it is run by Andrew.

Mr Stead was a cycling enthusiast in his younger days and after a break for business and family reasons went back to the sport about 10 years ago.

He is credited with reviving Ravensthorpe Cycling Club when Select Maintenance began sponsoring the club more than a decade ago. Only last month he was named as Ravensthorpe's Clubman of the Year for 2004.

Mr Stead won every veterans' trophy awarded by the Ravensthorpe club and many of the club records he set still stand.

In the mid-1960s Mr Stead was a fireman in Brighouse for about three years. Later he was an auto-electrician at the Huddersfield Corporation bus depot and then at David Brown Tractors before leaving to set up his electrical business.

He leaves a widow, Pat, daughter Sally, son Andrew and grandsons Thomas, 10, and eight-year-old Luke.