David Briggs, textile manufacturer

David Briggs, who has died at 89, was chairman and managing director of the Yorkshire textile merchant, William Root Ltd.

David Briggs

He was also a leading light within the textile industry and a significant charitable benefactor.

Born in Bradford on Good Friday 1929, he went away to school at Ashville College, Harrogate, and Worksop College. He returned to study textiles at Bradford Technical College before joining the family business.

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He was passionate about levelling the playing field between the British textile industry and competing nations. He chaired trade associations and lobbied ministers in pursuit of support.

He was chairman of the Confederation of British Wool Textiles for several of years, representing an industry which at the time had a workforce in excess of 250,000.

He also chaired the British Wool Federation, the Bradford and District Wool Association and Bradford Textile Society, and was a founding member and vice-chairman of the International Mohair Association. He sat on the British Wool Marketing Board and was a member of the International Wool Textile Organisation, always maintaining a steely determination that ensured the industry had a voice to be listened to.

He also believed in helping young people to fulfil their potential, and took satisfaction in seeing the success of those he had helped.

In 1955 he married Enid, whom he met at Heaton Tennis Club. A passionate sportsman, he also enjoyed rugby, skiing, squash and, especially, golf.

He had learned to sail during his National Service in the Navy, and spent summer weekends on Windermere and walking the surrounding fells.

He is survived by Enid, children Claire and Michael and grandchildren Alexander, William, George and Francesca.