Haulage magnate Edward Stobart, who built up the Eddie Stobart lorry empire and ran it for more than 30 years, has died at the age of 56.
He suffered what were described as “heart problems” on Wednesday and died on Thursday in hospital in Coventry.
He took the business started by his father Eddie and built it into the best known haulage company in the UK.
Mr Stobart sold the firm to his brother William and business partner Andrew Tinkler in 2004.
In the 1970s Eddie Stobart took the company from a local firm delivering fertiliser into a road transport and warehousing company.
Drivers wore collars and ties, which was unusual at the time, and were also instructed to wave back and honk their horn when signalled by a passer-by.
By the 1990s the distinctive trucks, with each cabin bearing a woman’s name, were a common sight on motorways across the UK and Europe.
The firm even set up its own fan club, which now has more than 25,000 members.
During the Kosovo crisis Eddie Stobart trucks delivered supplies to British forces based in neighbouring Macedonia.
When the company was sold in 2004 Eddie Stobart moved to the Midlands and took over a firm which built lorry trailers but that failed.