TAXI worker Andrew Holgate, aged 35, collapsed and died last night after finishing his shift.
The switch operator clocked off at 6.10 pm at A2B Private Hire, Pellon Lane, Halifax.
Ten minutes later he was found slumped by his Ford Fiesta by colleague Harry Butterworth and passed away an hour later.
His devastated family and friends have paid tribute to the “Gentle Giant” of Bradshaw, Halifax, who had time for everybody.
He had complained of breathlessness on Tuesday afternoon and booked a GP appointment for today.
A post mortem is due to be carried out into the cause of his death.
Private hire driver Mr Butterworth, 61, of Boothtown, Halifax, pulled into Lister Court car park at 6.20 pm.
“I thought Andrew was looking at his car as he was sat up,” he said.
“But, he didn’t move so I went over.”
Mr Butterworth called an ambulance after finding Andrew in a lot of pain and struggling to breathe and tried to keep him calm until medics arrived.
“As they came he collapsed and they started working on him,” he said.
“I had known him four years and we had a good rapport and this is a real shame.
“He was very helpful on the switch and it has left me shocked.
“He could recognise customers by their voice and all who knew him would say he was a kind-hearted bloke.
“When you see a young man like that taken away it is unjust.”
Andrew lived with his mum, Beverley, 58, at Bradshaw View and she is being comforted by relatives and friends.
She was working as a carer at Heathy House, Holmfield, Halifax, when she was told the news.
“I just screamed. All I wanted to do was see him,” she said.
“I could not believe he had gone. I will miss my banter with him.”
He was the youngest of her three children, Nicola is 40, and Nigel, 39.
“He was my baby. A gentle giant who looked after me and had a big heart and would do anything for anybody,” she said.
“I believed he thought he should be here to look after me.”
Andrew, who was well over 6ft, had a wide circle of friends and loved music.
He had previously worked in the pub trade at the Halfway House and Fountain Inn, Pellon, Halifax.
He had taken his mother out for tea on Tuesday and told her he had felt unwell.
His boss Peter Rose said Andrew had been working an extra shift and was a reliable and popular worker.
“He was saving up to buy his mum some new windows for the house to be fitted as a surprise when she was on holiday,” he said.
“Andrew was a nice guy.”
He also leaves his father Harry Holgate, of Holywell Green and granddad Charles Callaghan, of Illingworth.
His brother, Nigel, said when his funeral was arranged it would be a celebration of his life.
“Like others have said he was a gentle giant - and my little-big brother.”