The director turned Barry Hines' A Kestrel For A Knave into a beloved film in 1969, and developed a friendship with the writer, who lost his battle with Alzheimer's disease last week.

The filmmaker and the author also collaborated on the films The Price Of Coal, The Gamekeeper, and Looks And Smiles.

Paying tribute to his late friend, Loach told the Press Association, "His writing, the way he wrote, was very much the way we wanted to make films. It was very simple, direct, clear, economical. Funny, sometimes. And with a great warmth, a great humanity."

Recalling the times Hines joined him on set, Loach added, "Barry would be very actively involved. He chose the locations that we wrote about and where we invariably filmed, he'd come along with me when we were casting, we'd sit and meet people together. He'd be there at the shoots as much as possible - always a cool, perceptive presence."