Tributes paid to ‘life and soul’ Shropshire landlord after death aged 58

Tributes have been paid to a Shropshire landlord who has lost his battle with cancer.

Antony Norton, known as Sparky
Antony Norton, known as Sparky

Antony James Norton, known as 'Sparky', died on September 23. He was 58.

Over his career he was the landlord of The Railway and The Plough in Pontesbury before having a short spell at the Mytton Arms in Habberley.

He then took over at the Belle Vue Tavern, Shrewsbury, and, finally, the Red Lion in Bomere Heath.

His family say he was the life and soul of the party who shall me missed by many.

'Whole community is saddened'

Joules brewery was among those who paid tribute to Mr Norton.

"Our whole community is saddened by the loss of our great friend Antony Norton," a spokesman said. "Sparky was an inspirational landlord and he gave guidance and support to many new starters at Joule’s.

"He ran the Belle Vue Tavern and then the Red Lion at Bomere Heath with great flair and passion.

"He was eccentric, mischievous, always irreverent and has a great sense of fun and humour.

"More than anything else, Sparky enjoyed creating a wonderful atmosphere and seeing his customers relax and have a great time, it made him a special landlord.

"He championed community. Like everyone at Joules he always felt strongly that the role of the pub was to bring people and whole communities together.

"Throughout his career he was always heavily involved in local and charitable projects, he made a difference to so many people’s lives who will feel his loss."

Mr Norton's family said he would be missed by his mother Marianne, wife Karla, son Alex, granddaughter Amelie and many others and said they would like to thank the Shrewsbury Hospice for its support and care that was a massive comfort towards the end of his life.

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