Ron Harrod paved the way for hockey goals PIC: Harrod UK

Tributes have been paid to pioneering goal manufacturer Ron Harrod, who has died aged 89.

Founder of Suffolk-based Harrod UK, Ron started his company in Lowestoft in the 1950s and had a long relationship in hockey, having sponsored the newly-formed England Hockey 18 years ago.

Initially, he converted old herring nets into garden netting, using skills associated with the area’s fishing industry.

He soon focused on goal nets and sports equipment to such an extent that Harrod hockey goals were used at the last two Olympics and the 2018 women’s World Cup.

“Ron Harrod always showed a great interest in sports governing bodies and this unique relationship has been carried on by his colleagues over the years,” said England Hockey.

A Harrod UK spokesman said: “Ron Harrod was a truly inspirational man who will be desperately missed but forever fondly remembered.”

With goal post safety high on his agenda, Ron was also a founder member of the Comité de Européan Normalisation (CEN) and was UK representative for over 10 years.

England Hockey added: “We are proud to work with Harrod and we send our condolences to Ron’s family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.”

The success of the company was achieved by an encouraging Ron telling his staff “to just have a go”, while it is said that he knew the names of everyone who worked at the Lowestoft office.