Dundee United manager Craig Levein regretted his close friendship with Eddie Thompson had not lasted a lot longer after the Tannadice chairman lost his battle with cancer.
Thompson died aged 67 in the early hours of Wednesday morning following a long battle with prostate cancer.
"We have lost someone I'd call a decent guy and, as close as we've become, he is someone I wish I could have known a lot longer," said Levein. "As a chairman, he could not have backed me any more than he did, but it is as a good man that I think of him."
The fan who took control of his club in 2002 had hired several managers in his bid to restore the glory days to the club he loved.
And he found his man in Levein, who took United to the League Cup final and challenged for a European place in his first full season in charge.
Thompson, who worked at Tannadice and watched the team home and away until the final weeks of his life, lost his son-in-law Ken Mitchell, 38, in a road accident at the weekend.
And Levein's first thoughts were with the family Thompson left behind - wife Cath, children Justine and Stephen and four grandchildren.
"Right now, our thoughts are with Eddie's family," Levein added. "This is a terrible time and the death of his son-in-law at the weekend only makes this more heartbreaking."
Levein added on the club's official website: "We knew how ill the chairman was and we have been expecting this.
"That means in some ways you can steel yourself for it, but when it happens, it is still terrible news. We are all very upset."
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