Tributes pour in for Wakefield businessman who left his mark on the city

Tony Gough.
Tony Gough.

a Wakefield businessman who died this week has left his mark on his home city in more ways than one.

Tributes have been pouring in to Anthony Gough, proprietor of Gough and Norris builders on York Street who died in Wakefield Hospice on Tuesday, aged 64 after a short battle with cancer.

Tony, the middle child and eldest son of Dennis and Doreen Gough, left Snapethorpe School aged 15 and served his apprenticeship at Harlow and Milner.

Aged 19, he decided he wanted to work for himself and, armed with a few tools, struck out alone, forming Gough and Norris Builders the following year with his long-time school friend David Norris.

The partnership was hugely successful, at one time employing 40 tradesmen.

The firm built houses and extensions throughout the city and beyond, working for local colleges, the Department of Justice and many others.

David Norris emigrated to The Gambia 25 years ago and Tony carried on the business alone with the help of Hazel, his partner of 37 years, whom he married in a special ceremony at Pinderfields Hospital last month.

The couple had no children but Tony was stepfather to Hazel’s daughter Sally, a doting grandfather to her children Macie and Holly and great uncle to Dani.

Hazel said: “Tony really was a lovely warm-hearted man and the life and soul of the party.

“It’s typical of his sense of humour that he wanted Bob Dylan’s Knocking on Heaven’s Door at his funeral and we are going to honour his wishes. He knew so many people that whenever we went anywhere in Wakefield he stopped and chatted half-a-dozen times.”

She added: “Apart from his family, to which he was utterly devoted, Tony’s main love was his American campervan.

“He was due to retire from the business in October and we had plans to go travelling in it.”

The funeral will be held at Wakefield Cathedral on Thursday, September 13 at 10am, followed by internment at Lofthouse cemetery at 11am.

Everyone is welcome to then attend a celebration of Tony’s life at the Butcher’s Arms, Stanley Road, Wakefield, and share their stories of how he has touched their lives.