David Hodgkiss, the Lancashire chairman, has died at the age of 71 after contracting coronavirus.
Hodgkiss, who had been on the board at Emirate Old Trafford for 22 years, is understood to have had underlying health issues.
Having previously served as treasurer and vice-chairman, he took over from Michael Cairns in April 2017 and was a central figure in the renovation of Old Trafford over the past decade – a period of refurbishment, including the construction of The Point and the raising of £9 million of public funding for the new Hilton hotel.
The success of these plans was reflected in Old Trafford being awarded both the prestigious India v Pakistan World Cup fixture last summer, and the first semi-final.
“Further to the announcement from his family, it is with great sadness that Lancashire Cricket announces the passing of its Chairman, David Hodgkiss OBE,” read a club statement on Monday morning.
“David served the club with distinction over many years including holding the offices of treasurer, vice-chairman and latterly chairman.
— Matt Parkinson (@mattyparky96) March 30, 2020
“He was much loved by everyone at Lancashire Cricket Club and respected throughout the cricketing world. Our sincere condolences and thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
Colin Graves, the ECB chairman, said: “David was a vital part of cricket in Lancashire and was passionate about growing and developing the sport in the county.
“He played an integral role in the redevelopment of Emirates Old Trafford and Its status as a leading international ground is a testament to his hard work and dedication.
“On behalf of everyone at the England and Wales Cricket Board, our thoughts are with his family, friends and everyone at Lancashire County Cricket Club at this sad time.”
Daniel Gidney, Lancashire’s chief executive, paid his respects on Twittter, writing: “I am absolutely devastated to lose my great friend. RIP David.”
Matt Parkinson, the Lancashire and England legspinner who received his club cap from Hodgkiss in 2018, added: “Such sad news. A great man who always had time for everyone and loved the [red rose]. Will remember his capping speech for a long time
Luke Sutton, the former Lancashire batsman turned player agent, added: “Such sad news. David was a really lovely man who loved Lancashire cricket.”
Hodgkiss also served as chief executive of steel fabrication company the William Hare Group, and was awarded the OBE for services to manufacturing and exporting