A legendary Windsor businessman whose building and plumbing company numbered the Queen and Eton College among its customers has died suddenly.

Colin Hayes, 69, the director of the F.J. Lane company in Temple Road, Windsor was taken ill at work on Tuesday last week and died the following day.

Sadly Mr Hayes had been planning his retirement at Christmas and his sudden death has devastated his family.

His amazing career started when he joined his father Norman's plumbing company H.F. Plumbing Ltd as an apprentice. Norman had begun as an apprentice at F.J. Lane and bought the company in the late 1960s.

Colin Hayes joined his father there and went on to become the company's director.

His brother Brian has fond memories of the early days. He said: "I remember Colin had this three wheeler vehicle he used to go to jobs in when he was too young to have a driving license. It was heading up Priest Hill on the way to a job in Englefield Green and everybody had to get out so it would make it to the top.

"He ran such a happy company that many apprentices he employed stayed their whole careers there."

Mr Hayes' son Mark, who has taken over running the company, said: "He was Windsor through and through and very proud of that. He reckoned he had worked in almost every road in the town at one time or another."

The company has worked at Windsor Castle installing heating round the swimming pool and at Eton College undertaking maintenance and repairs.

Mr Hayes was a past president of Windsor and Eton Rotary Club.

He was awarded the freedom of London through his connection with the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers - a leading city livery company and was Deputy Provincial Grandmaster of the Freemasons, on whose behalf he was always laid the wreath on Remembrance Sunday - a task he proudly performed only three weeks ago.

He leaves his wife Carol, son Mark, grandchildren Calum, 16 and Sam, 14, brother Brian and nephew Jason.

A private family funeral will be held at a later date.