A MUCH LOVED businessman, family man and military vehicle enthusiast has died, aged 81.

Father-of-three Brian Boys, who was chairman of B&E Boys Construction in Waterfoot, died suddenly on his birthday on Tuesday.

Mr Boys’ son Peter said: “Brian was good humoured in business, approachable to all and supportive to many.

“He worked to construct new homes and employment space for job creation whilst employing and training loyal and dedicated staff, through work in the Rossendale Valley, and further afield.

“Yet he remained an amazing husband, father and partner. Always keen to offer help and advice Brian ensured his company trained many young people through apprenticeships, and

“Brian will be dearly missed by loved ones, family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances alike and on behalf of his immediate family we would like to thank the numerous messages of condolence and blessings at this time.”

Born in Rawtenstall Mr Boys attended St Paul’s Primary School Constable Lee, Alder Grange Secondary School, Accrington and Rossendale College and Burnley College, before becoming a joiner apprentice at Sedwick and Harrisson in Rawtenstall.

Motivated by his parents William and Dora, Mr Boys set up B&E Boys in Bacup, in 1961 at Albion Street Saw Mills, with his late wife Elaine.

With a mantra of ‘you only fail when you stop trying’ Mr Boys expanded the business to have such a standing in the local business community invited to meet former prime ministers Tony Blair and David Cameron.

A keen Burnley FC fan Mr Boys coached Stacksteads-based Maden Park Rovers in his early years, before becoming the main sponsor at Bacup Borough FC. He also supported numerous charities, including Rossendale Hospice, Help for Heros and Rossendale Rotary.

Mr Boys was also an avid collector of wartime and post-war military memorabilia, more notably military vehicles, for which he was known internationally.

He had one of the largest privately owned collections of military vehicles in the United Kingdom. and hit the headlines earlier this year when he drove his grandson Brennan to his Year 11 prom in a 17-tonne Saurer tank.

Mr Boys leaves sons John, Michael and Peter, daughters-in-law Jodi, Erica and Jane, grandchildren Georgia, Brennan, Jaxon, Ethan, Ella, Lauren, Alex and Harry, and partner Janet.