Andy Smallman, managing director of Halewood International said:
"For over 30 years John was the inspirational and entrepreneurial force behind the Halewood International group. The Halewood International Holdings Plc board will continue to ensure that this pioneering spirit and drive remains at the heart of the way we do business. On behalf of the board and staff, I would like to thank our customers and suppliers for their ongoing support.
"At this time all our thoughts are with his family and friends to whom we have sent our heartfelt condolences. We would ask that the family's privacy be respected at this difficult time.
“I am sure that I speak for all of his colleagues when I say that John will be greatly missed."