THE family of a popular Acton Bridge landlord have paid tribute to a ‘hardworking, generous and funny man’, following his sudden death.

Keith Morris ran the Maypole Inn, in Hill Top Road, for 26 years with his beloved wife Brenda. Before that, the couple spent many years at The White Lion in Alvanley and The Red Lion in Hollins Green.

Keith, who was born in Haydock, St Helens, and grew up in Croft, Warrington, passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, January 13, while recovering from the flu.

Keith’s daughter Helen Wells, said: “My dad won many awards for his pubs over the years and worked so hard to make them successful. He won Pubs in Bloom many years in a row.

“He believed a pub was at the heart of a community and he always opened for a few hours on Christmas Day, so that local people had a place to come for a chat and some company.

“He was a brilliant dad, so generous and so hardworking. He taught me so much and was devoted to his two granddaughters Lily and Chloe. He had a great sense of humour and there was a lot of laughter over the years.

“My dad was at his happiest on holiday with all of us, in north Wales or Cornwall, or at the seaside. We’re going to miss him so much – he and my mum were such an amazing team.”

Brenda says she is determined to keep The Maypole going: “At the moment I’m devastated and in shock – I can’t believe that Keith is gone. We’re going to do all we can to carry on with the pub – it’s what Keith would have wanted.

“Our staff have been just brilliant and we want to continue to support them and maintain the high standards of The Maypole Inn.”

In 2010, Keith and Brenda spoke to the Northwich Guardian about their ruby wedding anniversary and 40 years in the pub trade.

Keith told the Guardian at the time: “When you get to our age it’s a way of life – it’s something we’ve done every day and we’ve always enjoyed it. It’s given us a good life.”

Keith’s funeral service will take place on Thursday, February 8, at 12.30pm at St John’s Church, Sandiway.

Family flowers only, but donations if desired to the British Heart Foundation and Sandiway Primary School (for new reading books).

Funeral enquiries to Nagle Brothers Funeral Directors, 21 Hill Top Road, Acton Bridge, Northwich, CW8 3RA, 01606 852155.