A MOTHER-AND-SON pub team have received a prestigious long-service award in recognition of their 21st anniversary at a Barnsley pub.

Pat and Richard McCool, of The Darley in Worsbrough, bagged the accolade from the pub’s owners, Star Pubs and Bars, and acts as a double celebration as Pat has clocked up 45 years’ service.

When Pat, who lives round the corner from The Darley, spotted it was available in 1999, she jumped at the chance to take it on.

She said: “I’d always run pubs for other people and it was my dream to have one of my one. I could see its potential - it had a lovely atmosphere but needed more customers to thrive.”

Richard’s wife and daughter, Donna and Katey, are very much involved with running the pub while Pat’s husband John now enjoys a pint and card games with regulars since retiring.

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Over the last 45 years Pat has served multiple generations of Barnsley families with some following her from the now-closed The Cutting Edge on Bank End Road, where she worked for many years prior to The Darley.

The 73-year-old added: “I wouldn’t have missed the experience of running The Darley for the world. Seeing kids come in for pop and crisps with their parents and then grow up and come back with their own families is one of the things I enjoy most.

“I believe pubs have a really important role to play in society as places where people can come together and socialise. You hear a lot about isolation and loneliness these days - a friendly local can be the perfect cure.”