FORMER York councillor, Lord Mayor, Sheriff, hotelier and tourism boss Keith Wood has died after a short battle against pancreatic cancer, aged 75.

Family members say Keith - who leaves a wife June, son Rob, daughter Shona and granddaughter Scarlett - always had York at his heart and devoted his life to the people of the city.

June said: “He was a man of great integrity, who liked everything to be done correctly.”

Rob said: “He did everything possible to promote York and the Lord Mayor’s role. When he was Lord Mayor, he attended more than 950 engagements.”

Keith, who was born in York and educated at Tang Hall Junior School and Archbishop Holgate’s Grammar School, was a Heworth City Councillor for 21 years from 1970 to 1991, and served on almost all the authority’s committees and chaired many, including housing and the York International Festival.

He served as Sheriff of York in 1980-81 and as Lord Mayor in 1990/91, after which he was appointed an honorary Alderman.

He began his career as an apprenticed boat builder and marine engineer at Hills Boatyard near Lendal Bridge, and was there for 18 years until 1979, becoming yard manager.

He then became managing director of Ariel Self Serve Ltd for 15 years, in charge of opening and running York’s first 24-hour self service petrol filling station and shop - the Shell Garage on the corner of Green Dykes Lane.

In 1991, Keith and June bought Ascot House, a 15-bedroom Victorian villa in Heworth, and they set about restoring it in traditional style.

The hotel became Keith’s main employment in 1994 and it steadily rose to its present rating of four gold stars from the AA.

He was chairman of the Greater York Hotel and Guest House Association from 1995 to 2001 and became a director of York Tourism Bureau from 2004-2008, and was a director of Visit York, served for a time as deputy chairman and acting chairman of Visit York.

Keith was also involved in several other organisations in York. He chaired the governors at both Burnholme and Tang Hall Schools, was vice-chairman of the York Citizens Theatre Trust, and chaired the York Theatre Royal Appeal Committee, and was a trustee of the charity York Against Cancer.

He was a non-executive director of York Hospital, chaired the Friends of Holy Trinity Church in Goodramgate was President of York Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society and had been President of York Philharmonic Male Voice Choir for 39 years.

Keith also became a professional Toastmaster, and attended a Mansion House lunch in this role when the Queen visited in 2012.

June said she planned to continue running the hotel following Keith’s death, assisted by Rob.