TRIBUTES have been paid to Michael Brinton, the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, who died on Monday.

Mr Brinton had served as Lord Lieutenant, or the Queen’s representative in the county, since 2001.

He died peacefully, aged 70, with his wife Angela by his side at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham after a year-long fight against cancer.

As well as the Queen’s man, Mr Brinton was also the chairman of the world-famous Kidderminster carpet firm Brintons which was founded by his great, great, great grandfather William Brinton in 1783.

HIs son Julian Brinton, speaking on behalf of Mrs Brinton, daughter Birdie and son Algy, said: “We are all devastated and he will be sorely missed.

"We all adored him. He was very much a family man and a brilliant grandfather to five grandchildren.

“My inbox has been heaving with messages from every member of the carpet industry and local area writing to say what a wonderful chap he was and what a gentleman of the industry.”

Mr Brinton also said his father enjoyed vintage cars, country pursuits and was passionate about opera.

John Inge, the Bishop of Worcester, a close friend of Mr Brinton’s, said: “He was someone for whom I had a profound admiration and respect.

"His service to the people of Worcestershire as Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant was exemplary.

“He was, in addition, a person of immense graciousness, kindness and modesty.

“His was an inspiring example of Christian service and he will be sorely missed by me and very many others.”

Anne Carter, a deputy lieutenant of Worcestershire, said Mr Brinton was a man of the people. She said: “A light has gone out over Worcestershire but we’ve got a star in heaven.

“He was a lovely, lovely man. I think Worcestershire has lost a real gem.”

David Tibbutt, the Mayor of Worcester, said: “I got to know Michael Brinton very well indeed during my year as mayor of Worcester.

“He became a great friend and he was always good to talk to. He was a gentle man and very good at putting people at ease.

"I saw him on many civic occasions when he ably promoted the city. He was a great man and is an immense loss to the city and county.”

Sylvia Herbert, who was a colleague at Brintons for 10 years, said: “He was a charming man and a real gentleman.”

Another colleague Mike Hardiman, who worked with Mr Brinton for more than 30 years, said: “He was just a very nice man to be with.”

He described him as a man at ease with everybody.

Brintons managing director Don Coates said: “He will be remembered best for the commitment, energy and passion he put into building the business and creating this global brand, particularly during his time as chairman and then as our president.”

A private family funeral will be followed by a memorial service in Worcester Cathedral in the autumn.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said the Queen would be informed of his death.