Tributes have been paid to a ‘warm-hearted’ and generous pub landlord.
Nigel Hardcastle died on Tuesday, April 7, aged 41.
He had previously been landlord of the Talbot and Falcon in the city centre, The Jolly Miller in Kettlethorpe, The Kettlethorpe Hotel and Ossett’s Tawny Owl. He also part owned the marina on Stanley Ferry in the early 2000s and set up a beer delivery service in 2011.
Family friend Jonny Wootton said: “Nigel made a huge impression and left a lasting mark on many, many people throughout Wakefield with his wit, kindness and generosity.
“It’s more than fair to say that he massively turned the fortunes of each establishment around.
“He transformed them from growing concerns into thriving public houses. He did this with a combination of a brilliant marketing mind and a heart so warm it could melt an iceberg.”
Mr Hardcastle, who was in the pub licensing trade for 20 years, had raised thousands of pounds for charities and good causes – even abseiling down Wakefield Cathedral for its restoration appeal.
He also sponsored sports teams, including Stanley United FC and Wakefield Jets FC.
Mr Wootton said: “Nigel gave endlessly to charity. Many tears were shed for a man who some saw as kind, a man who would give away his last penny.
“On the day he died, pubs in the centre of Wakefield were quiet and subdued.”
Mr Hardcastle leaves behind mum Irene Hardcastle, brother Ian Hardcastle and close friends Simon Rock, Ruth Wyper and Kevin ‘Nagger’ Burton.
His funeral is still being arranged. Anyone who would like to attend should call into the Griffin – formerly Boland’s Bar – on Union Street for the details in the next few days.