Former Colne pub landlord dies (71)

SADLY MISSED: George Whitaker with his son James (S)
SADLY MISSED: George Whitaker with his son James (S)

Sociable, sincere and caring are just three of the words chosen to describe a former Colne pub landlord who died following a short battle with cancer.

George Whitaker (71) , who used to run The Spinners Arms with his wife Maureen, will be remembered by his family and friends for his loving and upbeat nature.

Throughout his life, the former Colne Park High School student took on a variety of jobs, including in the RAF and the army. But according to his family, it was behind the bar where his heart truly lay.

Mrs Whitaker (63), of Melling Court, said: “All the regulars at the Spinners loved him. He was very loving, kind-hearted, and he would do anything for anybody.”

Mr Whitaker, whose funeral was held on Monday, married his wife in 1970 – having fallen for her six months before while at the Derby Arms.

His first son Mark, who tragically died at the age of 15 in a motorbike crash, was born in 1972. His second son James was born in 1973 and his daughter Clare came along in 1976. He also leaves four grandchildren Katie, Joshua, Ryan and Emily, and one great-grandchild Noah.

The keen traveller enjoyed singing and spending time listening to music from timeless stars such as Frank Sinatra. He also loved watching cricket, and playing pool and darts.

His son James (40) said: “He never had a bad word to say about anybody.”

And his daughter-in-law Leeann (32) added: “He was always upbeat.”

The family would like to thank everybody for their support, including friends, the Rev. Trish Tidy, florist Karen Varey, Dennis Hartley and Sons, Macmillan, and Pendleside Hospice.

Donations to Pendleside Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support.