Henrik Lorenz 1943-2006 Henrik Lorenz was a larger-than-life character whose generosity, kindness and determination helped make him a popular figure across Asia. Lorenz, who died in his sleep last weekend on a flight from Hong Kong to Sydney, was well known not only on the football pitch, where his heroics in goal saved many a day, but for his passion for football and life in general. He was 63. The genial German will be remembered as a humanitarian, whose contribution to local football - from the Yau Yee League to the annual soccer sevens - was immeasurable. His charitable work was also much respected. He managed, captained and played as both a professional and amateur player. He turned out for the Hong Kong Football Club for five years during the 1970s when the Sports Road side played in the first division, although he played right up until his death - from a pulmonary thromboembolism - for his social side, the Dynamics. Perhaps he was better known for organising numerous football tours all over the world, from South America to South Africa and of course Hong Kong, where he was the architect behind the success of the now famous Lorenz All Stars - a collection of past luminaries such as Jurgen Klinsmann, Pierre Littbarski, Uwe Bein and Alan Kennedy, and local stars such as Anto Grabo, Tim Bredbury and Marlon van der Sander. 'He was a lovely man,' said Tony Sealy, club operations manager and coach of the Hong Kong Football Club. 'I have known him since I've been a member and worked for the club - for over 10 years. He always supported the football section. He played for the social team for the last 15-20 years. 'He has been instrumental in raising the profile of the soccer sevens by bringing over international footballers and he duplicated that in Phuket and all over the region. There's a heavy cloud at the club at the moment.' Sealy said: 'He was a generous man as well. He was a self-made millionaire and subsequently shared some of that wealth in those areas he enjoyed and a lot of that was in football.' A successful textile manufacturer and an astute investor, Lorenz was based in Hong Kong, but had a number of homes around the world. Lorenz arrived here in 1970 to start up a buying office for a German mail-order firm in exporting garments to his native land. He started his own export company six years later and eventually opened offices all over the world. Sealy won't forget his competitiveness on the pitch either. Even though it might have been a social game, Lorenz would insist the players 'go to bed early, eat properly and treat every game seriously by giving 100 per cent'. 'When you went on tour with Henrik, you didn't go there for fun, you went down to win. That was the thing that struck me most about him; he treated everything seriously. He was a good winner and a good loser. But he always wanted to do well,' Sealy said. 'That's why when he built up the sevens teams, he went from local players to international players. If he thought he was going to lose, he would bring in top players. If he could fly in Pele, he would have flown in Pele.' Grabo, who has played for local sides South China, Golden and the Lorenz All Stars, said his relationship with the German was 'like father and son'. 'His passion for football was so strong for all his life,' Grabo said. 'He was always talking sports and football. But even outside of football, his charitable work did not go unnoticed. 'He had two main charities - one in Kathmandu and another in Phuket, where he built homes and even a football pitch for some 35 orphans. 'Any kind of charity work, he was always there and he always gave. He had a soft heart, especially for children, and donated money for many causes, including Operation Santa Claus,' Garbo said. Despite his openness, frankness and his charismatic personality, not many people knew he spent the last two years battling leukaemia. Only his family and closest friends were aware of his tough fight. Long-time friend Derek Currie called him a big man with a bigger heart. 'Henrik had a way of making the game seem like the way it should be - competitive but always friendly, unlike most other fixtures in those days,' Currie said. 'His flamboyant banter, before and during the match, was always entertaining and it was always a pleasure to play in a game Henrik was involved in.' Lorenz is survived by his two children, Sven and Katja, from his wife, Karen, and his partner, Susana Li.