FORMER Huddersfield Town chairman Malcolm Asquith died aged 69 after a battle against lung cancer.
He was boardroom head at the Football League club for almost two years and a director for six, before being made life vice-president in 1999.
Mr Asquith, who lived in Ossett and was managing director of Asquith Homes Ltd, was a lifelong Town fan, starting watching them in the 1940s. His favourite player was Peter Doherty.
A speedy right winger with Ossett Common Rovers and Ossett Albion, he watched Town regularly again once his playing days were over and was one of the founder members of Town’s President’s Club at Leeds Road, along with his father, Jack.
Mr Asquith joined the Town board in 1993, along with Robert Whiteley and David Taylor, when the club was in dire financial trouble, and helped – along with existing directors Graham Leslie, Terry Fisher and Geoff Headey – to bring about an upsurge in fortunes in the next few years as the club moved from Leeds Road to the new stadium (1994).
He was elected vice-chairman in 1995 and became chairman two years later, relinquishing the post only when Barry Rubery took over the club. He was also a director of Kirklees Stadium Development Ltd from its inception through to 1999.
A former Conservative councillor on the old Ossett Borough Council, Mr Asquith was Mayor of Ossett in the late 1960s.
Right up to his death, he was a prominent member of Ossett Rotary Club, being president on two occasions. He was also president of New Mill Male Voice Choir in the Holme Valley.
A keen golfer – he enjoyed travelling and playing the sport – he was a long-time member of the Low Laithes club at Ossett and of the PIGS, a golfing society.
In business, he learned his trade in his father’s joinery and undertaking firm, going through a full apprenticeship, and he was at the forefront when the company moved more prominently into building in the 1970s, when they were hugely successful. He was a director of the firm for over 40 years and managing director for more than 30.
Mr Asquith leaves widow Sheila, sons Matthew and Jonathan and three grandchildren.
His friend of 50 years, David Taylor, said: “Malcolm was a proper gentleman.
“He was a very generous man supporting various charities and he was a very sincere individual – one of life’s old fashioned gentlemen.
“He had a lifelone love affair with Huddersfield Town, of course, and he will be sadly missed.”