Tributes have been paid to Paul Gage, founder of the biggest independent media buyer outside London in the 1980s and 1990s, who has died at the age of 67.

The Manchester businessman founded Paul Gage Media, which held major accounts ranging from Lloyds TSB to the BBC, in 1982.

The business began life at the Royal Exchange but went from strength to strength and soon relocated to bigger premises in Styal, Cheshire.

Paul Gage Media secured major accounts including Airtours Holidays, Kronenbourg Lager, Lloyds TSB, Co-Op Bank and BBC Books.

On its 10th anniversary, Gage flew 230 media reps on a mystery trip to Reims, for lunch at the Mumm Champagne Caves.

He sold the business in 1994 and went on to work as a media consultant, specialising in construction and new developments.

His lifelong friend, Dr Geoff Chambers, from the University of Victoria in Wellington, told Prolific North: “ For me, Paul was a visionary capable of leading others with his ideas.

“He enrolled in Business Studies when few people had ever heard of the subject and sensed that advertising was his own niche.”

Paul Gage was born in Chorlton and attended William Hulmes Grammar School in Whalley Range, before doing business studies at Aston University.

Outside of work, Gage was an avid supporter of Manchester United and Northwich Victoria.

He died suddenly in hospital on May 5th, and leaves behind wife Heather and children Stewart, Iain and Charlotte.

His funeral was held at Vale Royal Crematorium in Northwich on May 23rd.