Neil Millington, 71, the hugely-popular former MD of Autosound, has died of pneumonia in Leeds Hospital.
Well-known and liked across the coach industry, he was the driving force behind many innovations for suppliers to work together for the benefit of the industry’s customers.
He had been suffering reduced mobility since a fall at home breaking a bone last summer and also had difficulties as a result of Kennedy’s disease.
He worked for Smith’s Industries and when it decided to sell its car and coach radio division in 1985. He led a management buyout team, successfully changing its focus and developing it to concentrate primarily on the needs of the coach industry.
Very active among suppliers he was a leading light in CISA, the Coach Industry Suppliers Organisation. This held regular events and was behind the inauguration of the CISA Show, first held at Donington and later at Telford, which developed into the ExpoCoach event.
Neil, aged 55, in 2004 and sold Autosound to Keith Ellis and Lee Fergus who continue to run it today.
In retirement, he devoted his time primarily to his hobbies which included Land Rovers, model railways, Alvis cars and preserved buses and coaches.
As well as being prominent within the Alvis Owners Club – particularly with its archives – he owned and, with a group of friends maintained, a considerable collection of elderly coaches within his Classic Connections organisation, regularly attending rallies and similar events in them.
He kept his fleet of coaches in a unit next to Autosound, worked on every Monday by his enthusiast friends. He had enjoyed a long association with Land Rover and a series of Bentleys to complement his TF21.
Says Alvis Owners Club Research Director Paul Chasney: “His wit, humour and good counsel endeared him to all who met him and we often joked that he was referred to as ‘a very nice man’ on a number of occasions.
“His charm no doubt helped us secure our offices at Bowcliffe where we spent many happy hours. It will not be the same without him.”
He leaves his sister, Susan and nephews Dan, Tom and Charles.
Due to current restrictions a private funeral will take place at Rawdon Crematorium on Saturday 9 January at 12.15pm.
Family flowers only please but donations in memory of Neil may be made to Kennedy’s Disease UK via the funeral directors: Joseph Geldart & Sons, 11 Hopewell Terrace, Horsforth, Leeds, LS18 4NE