ONE of Hereford’s most popular butchers who worked at the same shop for almost 50 years has died while on holiday in Wales.

Stuart Sheehan, who died aged 70 while spending time with his wife, Christine, at their caravan in Borth, was recognised as one of the city’s great characters and known to thousands of people shopping in the Butter Market, where he owned Mailes.

As a 14-year-old schoolboy he was an errand boy delivering meat on a butcher’s bike for Jack Mailes, then taken on as a trainee butcher aged 15.

He became a partner and then owned the shop for 30 years before retiring in 2014 when manager Ralph Lloyd took over, but he played a big part in running the butter market and served as chair of the trader’s association.

He was also a lifelong Hereford United supporter, and a key figure in the Vice Presidents’ Club, which played a vital role helping to finance the team through its rollercoaster years after the famous FA Cup run in 1972.

But he will be better known by thousands of local young schoolboys, most of them long grown up playing in an annual international youth football tournament in Holland for 40 years.

Hereford Lions Club organises four age group teams – and now girls as well – and Mr Sheehan, a former president, was one of the principal organisers in getting the teams to the tournament.

He leaves his wife Christine, daughters Clare and Tracy and three grandchildren.