Tributes as founder of Northern Ireland steel firm Brian McCance dies
The founding director of Brian McCance (Steel) Ltd has died peacefully in hospital at the age of 77.
Belfast businessman Brian McCance set up the family-run firm in 1976, and it has grown to become a market leader in steel stockholding and processing, celebrating its 40th anniversary last November.
Mr McCance passed away on Friday after suffering from bowel cancer, which had spread to his stomach. He was predeceased by his only child, Neil, who passed away from bone cancer three -and-a-half years ago.
Brian McCance's widow Lynn described her husband of 53 years as "a gentleman" and "one in a million".
"He was a great businessman, father and husband who adored his family," she said.
"Our son Neil was our life - he was a good rally driver and we used to travel everywhere with him. Neil had taken over as MD of the family business and Brian had semi-retired, but after Neil's death Brian took over again.
"Brian had built the business up from scratch. He was President of the National Association of Steel Stakeholders Great Britain and Ireland, the only President ever to come from here."
A number of local businesses issued statements of condolence at Mr McCance's death.
Lagan Valley Steels Ltd described him as a "wonderful human being". The firm said: "Our heartfelt condolences go to everyone at Brian McCance Steel and the entire McCance Family circle on the passing of Mr Brian McCance, a truly wonderful, genuine, loving, funny gentleman.
"Sending all our love and condolences to wife Lynn, daughter-in-law Tanya and grandchildren Mark and Melissa, heaven has gained another angel. I'm sure you and Neil are up there making as much noise as possible and giving everyone else a right old chuckle. Sleep tight Brian, a wonderful human being."
Hannon Steel also posted a statement on its Facebook page: "Hannon Steel is saddened to hear of the passing of Brian McCance, owner of long standing steel company McCance Steel. Our deepest sympathies go to wife Lynn, the whole McCance family and the staff of McCance Steel. Brian was a stalwart of the steel industry and will be sorely missed."
Mr McCance was laid to rest at Roselawn Cemetery yesterday following a funeral service at St Molua's Parish Church in east Belfast. He is survived by his wife Lynn, daughter-in-law Tanya, grandchildren Mark and Melissa, nephew Ian, his wife Kelly and great-nephew Spencer.