Birmingham has lost one of its greatest adopted sons, as Sir Dick Knowles has heard the voice of the great returning officer in the sky. He was the man who worked hard to lay the foundations of the reborn Birmingham we have today and probably the man who has the greatest claim to the mantle of Joe Chamberlain.
His integrity was first class. I hope people will study his career and take his life as an example of the way politics should be conducted. He was a great servant to Birmingham. He was a very nice and kind man.That from Neville Bosworth, the Tory leader of the early 80s.
Liam Byrne adds
This is a huge loss for the city. He was an absolute giant of a man in the renaissance of Birmingham. But, he was also one of those men who managed to combine vision and determination with a genuine kindness and compassion to improve the lives of ordinary people.
Sir Albert Bore comments that,
Dick was the leader who saw the way out and he saw that we had to turn the basis of our economy around, which meant trying to overcome the dependency there was on manufacturing industries. There is no doubt in my mind that Dick Knowles as leader contributed massively in steering Birmingham in a new direction. He had vision and could stand on the stages of the world but at the same time he had a very common touch.
Sir Richard Knowles, 1917-2008.