The UEA flag was flown at half mast on the day of his death as a mark of respect, with the University and the Union of UEA Students expected to organise an event to pay tribute to the late Chancellor after his near-decade tenure. Union Communications officer, Matthew Myles, said: “Sir Brandon and Lady Gough’s visits to the Union were always greatly received and appreciated by officers and staff.

“We offer Lady Gough the deepest sympathies on behalf of all staff and members of the Union.”

Born in Merseyside in 1937, Sir Brandon went on to graduate from Cambridge University, studying natural sciences and law, and achieved an Open University degree in humanities with classical studies.

After university he became a chartered accountant, becoming a partner in Coopers & Lybrand, the company which would later form the heart of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the global professional services organisation.

Following his retirement from Coopers & Lybrand, Sir Brandon played a leading role in a number of public sector and not-for-profit organisations, including Yorkshire Water, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and City University. In 2002 he was knighted for his public service.

Vice-chancellor, Professor Edward Acton, said: “I am shocked and deeply saddened by this devastating news.

“He made the role of Chancellor much more than a ceremonial position and was a frequent visitor to campus, meeting staff and students and taking a keen interest in their work.

“I know how much he was looking forward to our 50th anniversary next year. It is a matter of profound regret that he will not be with us as we celebrate an institution for which he worked so tirelessly.”