TRIBUTES have been paid to the first man to die at York Hospital from Covid-19.

Philip Hewitt, 90, died on March 25, having gone in to hospital on March 16 because he’d injured himself falling out of bed. He tested positive for Coronavirus on March 17.

A chartered accountant by profession, Mr Hewitt had a long career with Rowntree-Mackintosh, as a divisional finance director, and then with Nestle as director of management services.

His son, Christopher, said: “My dad had high personal and professional standards and expected the same in others. He was self-effacing, generous and enjoyed choral singing as a member of both his local church choir and York Male Voice Choir, and enjoyed Cricket and Rugby.

“He also took an active interest in the city of York through membership of a number of local organisations including York Georgian Society, Friends of York Minster and Friends of York Art Gallery.”

As a boy Mr Hewitt went to Rochdale Grammar School and later played league cricket for Middleton in the Central Lancashire League.

During National Service he was in the Army Pay Corps, posted to Leeds and was a qualified chartered accountant.

Mr Hewitt married his wife, Shirley, in 1955 and went to Ulster to work for the Ulster Linen Company. The couple had four children, Anthony, Caroline, Christopher and John.

Moving to York in the summer of 1962, he started working for Rowntree’s. The couple moved to Poppleton in the summer of 1964 which was the family home until they moved to the Chocolate Works in April last year.

In 1992-93 he was president of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

At retirement in April 1992 he was Director of Group Management Services, Nestle Group. And in the year 2000 he was one of the eight trustees of the York Millennium Bridge Trust, as director and member of the finance committee.

Back then Mr Hewitt told The Press: “I am looking forward to seeing the significant effect this will have on the lives of York people - for example, children in Fulford who have nowhere to play, crossing to join children on the west bank in the refurbished Rowntree Park.”

His other voluntary work included being chairman of Horticap, which provides adults with learning disabilities training in horticulture, from 1995-2004. He was also a governor at Ashfield School as well as a member of the Company of Merchant Taylors’ in York.

He leaves his wife of 64 years, Shirley, his children; Anthony, Caroline, Christopher and John and grandchildren; Edward, William, Rosalind, Benjamin, Jonathan, Emily and Tom. There will be a restricted cremation on April 8 with donations to Horticap.