Anecdotes about Sir Jim are legion. Here are just a few recounted by friend Alastair Monteith-Hodge, communications consultant and former broadcaster. 'A little-known fact about Sir Jim is his passion for Eddie Stobart - the nationwide British road haulage firm loved by truck spotters,' says Mr Monteith-Hodge, who stresses he is no relation. 'As unofficial Hong Kong chairman of the Eddie Stobart Fan Club (30,000 members worldwide), Jim has preached the rags-to-riches story of the Stobart empire to unsuspecting listeners on many occasions, usually followed up the next morning with a personalised delivery, fully crested, and 'On Her Majesty's Service', of the Hunter Davies tome The Eddie Stobart Story. 'To listen to Jim wax lyrical on what he refers to gladiatorially as Stobartian Rules is a rare privilege.' Mr Monteith-Hodge (pictured) says one of Sir Jim's biggest regrets is leaving Hong Kong without having established an annual Eddie Stobart Dinner in celebration of the great man, his pantechnicon genius, and his contribution to British industry. Recently , Sir Jim and several colleagues underwent media training with Mr Monteith-Hodge. Having watched his performance on video after one such session, Sir Jim wrote to him a few days later: 'A right hook, followed by a left jab to the solar plexus, right knee and a Glasgow Kiss might have been a better response than, 'See you, Jimmy'.' Although he referred to journalists as 'members of the reptile class', Sir Jim was a frequent visitor to the Foreign Correspondents' Club. 'On one occasion, after a particularly strenuous evening of 'iced tea and cucumber sandwiches' at the FCC,' recalls Mr Monteith-Hodge, Sir Jim wrote to him, wondering why he had found himself 'outside the jaguar cage in the zoo as dawn broke, inviting one or other, or both, of the dwellers therein to come out and fight'. Sir Jim's sense of mischief was renowned, but many of his escapades may never appear in print. 'There was the evening we convinced a fellow drinker at the FCC bar, over the course of several hours, that we were really gerbil salesmen,'' says Mr Monteith-Hodge. 'But you'll never get me to elaborate on that one.'