POPULAR Stourbridge businessman and philanthropist Geoff Hill has died at the age of 91.

The benevolent entrepreneur – whose Gas and Electrical Superstore at Amblecote has been trading for nearly 60 years – had given out more £500,000 to charities and worthy causes through his charitable trust over the last 20-plus years.

Mr Hill passed away at his Lawnswood home yesterday with his wife of 40 years, Sue, at his side - following a period of ill health.

She said: “He was such a lovely person.”

Despite being wheelchair bound for the last few months, he “never moaned” and “was always smiling,” she said.

Brierley Hill born Mr Hill, who was a champion cyclist in his youth, helped thousands of local causes through his charitable trust - which saw ten per cent of the net profits from his successful shop donated to needy Black Country groups ranging from children’s charities to sports clubs to community groups and deserving individuals.

The News Group's tsunami appeal which helped to rebuild a school in Phuket, Thailand, after the Boxing Day 2004 tragedy was among the causes given a big helping hand by the trust.

It has also provided great assistance to Norton meningitis survivor Robert Parsons and former Redhill School student Callum Loveridge, who suffered devastating spinal damage after a BMX stunt went wrong in 2010.

Mr Hill, who began collecting for charity after his eldest daughter was born with special needs, was also a big supporter of Mary Stevens Hospice and was awarded the MBE in 2004 for his fundraising for the charity.

He was also a long-time supporter of Age Concern Stourbridge and Halesowen.

Former News Group editor Jeff Jephcott paid tribute to Mr Hill - describing him as "a fine man who did so much for charity" and he added: "I always enjoyed working with him and his company. We spent a lot of time together raising money – especially for the hospice.

“He will be sadly missed by many people.”

As well as wife Sue, Mr Hill leaves three children – Louise, Teresa and Nigel, five grandchildren, plus great grandchildren, step-son Richard and three step-grandchildren, and a nephew Mark. He is also survived by his brother Rob.

Hundreds of people are expected to turn out to his funeral which is set to be held at Holy Trinity Church in Wordsley on Tuesday November 20 at 11am.