Whanganui identity Bill Main has died.

What most people did know about Bill was his life-long passion for cycling but his daughter Annette said he also loved dancing and listening to jazz.

"His health had been going downhill for a while and he has been very ill for the past two weeks," Annette said.

"We celebrated his 90th birthday on November 3 and he had a heart attack shortly afterwards."

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Bill Main died on November 19.

The long-serving referee and administrator was awarded an OBE for services to sport in 1985 and last year he was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 Sport New Zealand Sport and Recreation Awards in Wellington.

Bill began competing in the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge at age 60 and completed every year for the next 17 years.

He was also a regular participant at the Masters Games until recently.

Born and raised in Whanganui, Bill trained as a builder, established his own business and married local woman Val Penn.

The couple raised their daughters Annette and Glenys in Whanganui and Bill became the chief building inspector for the forerunner of the Whanganui District Council.

Val died in 2008 and Annette says she was deeply missed by Bill.

"They always enjoyed going out to listen to music and dance together so I tried to take dad out to enjoy those things as often as I could and he always appreciated it."

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Bill Main leaves daughters Annette and Glenys, grandchildren Dean, Melanie, Victoria, Finbar and great-grandchildren Lucas, Lily and Jorja.

In accordance with his wishes, the family will hold a private farewell.

In celebration of Bill's life and dedication to the world of cycling, donations to fulfill the vision of a roof over the Whanganui Velodrome would be greatly appreciated and can be made at Dempsey and Forrest, 208 Guyton St, Whanganui.