Service celebrates life of popular Dewsbury pub landlord

Paul Fahey
Paul Fahey

Heartfelt tributes were paid to a much-loved pub landlord during a service to celebrate his life.

Family and friends gathered at St Paulinus Church in Dewsbury on Tuesday to remember Paul Anthony Fahey.

A proud grandfather and keen sports fan, he was best known to many from his time running the Market House.

Together with his wife Janet, Mr Fahey had the Dewsbury pub for 10 years from 1989.

“I mostly ran the business while Paul enjoyed being the genial host,” she said. “He brought them through the doors and joined in the banter.”

Born in Eightlands in 1944, Mr Fahey attended St Paulinus Primary School and St John Fisher Catholic High School. A lifelong fan of Dewsbury Rams and Leeds United, he played junior and open age rugby league until suffering a shoulder injury.

He went on to play football for various local teams, including the John F Kennedy and Woods Sports, and also enjoyed playing snooker.

But the highlight of his sporting career was taking to the pitch in a charity match against professionals at Bradford Park Avenue – a story he loved to tell to pub regulars.

After leaving school Mr Fahey had trained as a joiner and cabinet maker, going on to set up his own business.

But he proved a natural behind the bar when he later took on the Market House.

Mrs Fahey said: “Paul was always happy to be with his friends and family. He was interested in people and everybody loved him, none more than me.”

Raising money for numerous charities and organising holidays for regulars, the couple came to see their customers as a second family.

It was at another pub, the Plough at Mirfield, that the pair had met in 1983 and six years later they were married.

They had four children – Neil, Jonathan, Beverley and John – and five grandchildren.

The couple retired in 1999 due to Mr Fahey’s ill health.

Mrs Fahey, of Barnfield, Dewsbury, said: “He battled illness for a long time but he never greeted anyone without a smile on his face. He always put his own problems to one side.

“He was lovely man – kind and generous – and he absolutely idolised his grandchildren. He was so proud of them.”

An avid reader, 69-year-old Mr Fahey was also interested in history and geography and loved to spend time abroad.

He passed away in hospital surrounded by his family on January 29. A collection was held at Tuesday’s service for Take Heart, which supports the Yorkshire Heart Centre.