Family, friends and colleagues paid tribute to Nick Lloyd, former managing director of Symonds Forecourts Ltd, at his funeral in Sherborne St John, near Basingstoke, last month.

He died suddenly at the age of 47, as he was embarking on new ventures in the convenience retailing sector, including a project with former MRH chief executive, Graham Peacock. "I am absolutely shocked and saddened at the loss of such a great talent," he said.

"He was highly respected in the forecourt convenience sector, with a proven track record for running successful businesses. He was focused and enthusiastic about the new ventures ahead of him, it is such a great loss."

ACS chairman James Lowman said: "I will always remember Nick’s warmth. He gave his time and energy to people, and wanted to use every interaction he had to improve that person’s day, work and life. You always felt that you were dealing with a human being first, as well as a great retailer.

"He spoke at a number of ACS events and was always brilliant. As a thinker and doer in our industry I would put him among the very best people I have dealt with.

"This is a huge loss for our industry."