The terrible news emerged yesterday that Bob Crow had died in the early hours from a suspected heart attack. The RMT leader, just 52, was an effective, combative, and resolute leader of his Union, fighting vociferously to maintain the pay, conditions and pensions of its members, with no small measure of success.
In many ways Mr Crow was an enigma - a self-described "communist/socialist" who still lived in a council house but yet received renumeration of which most could only dream. In other ways though, he was plain and transparent - he wanted the best for his members, for the public and for the transport network on which he had worked since becoming an apprentice track worker at age 16.
Tributes have flooded in from those who still bear the scars of battling Mr Crow, and also his friends and allies. The respect in which he was held is clear and he will be sadly missed.
A new leader for the RMT will be selected in due course. Whomever that turns out to be, there will be large shoes to fill.