I've blogged here a few times about Alan Sillitoe, one of my favourite authors.
I'm sorry to hear that he's gone. He was still writing very powerful novels in recent years - Birthday and Leonard's War stood out for me, but he had plenty of good short stories as well - perhaps his preferred format?
He wrote with an empathy and a material awareness of the circumstances of the English working class that I don't think has been matched by anyone else. I found his essay in Colin Ward's Anarchy from some time in the 1960s called (from memory) Being Poor to be very profound in it's implications. It's a subject that is under-served mission in British literature, and one that will be covered even less now Alan is no longer with us.