Now Russell Preece, who has been in charge at The Nags Head in Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury, is looking forward to travelling around Europe in his motorhome - but not before he worked his way through his partner Julie's list of jobs at home.
The 61-year-old ended up at the Nags back when it was notoriously popular with bikers and punks in the 1980s.
"I was at college in Shrewsbury doing my O-levels," he said. "I lived outside the town so I needed a car, meaning I needed a job. I ended up taking it over from my uncle Clive. You get less time for murder!"
He added: "When I started it was well known as a bikers pub and had a bit of a bad reputation. I gradually moved certain people out and changed it."
Since he announced his retirement, Russell has received an outpouring of well wishes from punters in person and online.
"People have been saying how I've affected their lives, how they met their partner here and things like that. We've got some who used to come here and now their kids come here. We call them the children of the Nags."
Russell also looks back fondly on times when England have had success in football tournaments as occasions that have been enjoyable at the pub.
Now he will hand over the reins to colleague Jen Dobb. "She's been here 15 years, so she's served her apprenticeship," Russell joked.
Punters won't be getting rid of Russell that easily though. He'll still be back to do the gardening and help out when Jen needs a spare pair of hands.