A POPULAR Barnsley businessman who was probably best-known as the managing director of Ardsley House Hotel has died, aged 77.

David Petherbridge, known to many as Mr Ardsley House in the hotel’s heyday, died on Saturday and many have paid tribute to him.

Born in Birmingham, David attended catering college and then held positions at hotels around the country, before coming to Barnsley in 1982 to work at Ardsley House.

His younger son Michael recalls the family living at the hotel until they bought a home in Darton.

David remained at Ardsley House until his retirement in 2005 when he and his wife, Nadine, spent six months of the year at their holiday home in Cyprus and six months in Barnsley.

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After Nadine passed away in 2007, David worked as a consultant with many businesses in the town and continued to promote and support Barnsley whenever he could.

“My dad definitely looked upon Barnsley as home and was a pillar of the community. He just loved to look after people, at work and privately,” said Michael.

“It’s been incredible how many people have contacted us as a family and offered their condolences and shared memories of him.”

David was involved with many organisations over the years including the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club and BPL.

A great sports lover, particularly rugby, David was captain of Silkstone Golf Club for many years as well as a member of Stainborough Cricket Club.

He was also a keen supporter of Barnsley RUFC and a long-serving vice president of the club which this week paid tribute: “For many years he cheered the team on, supported events and offered advice in developing the Shaw Lane facilities. Known across the town, David was Mr Ardsley House in its heyday, promoting the hotel and the town to all-comers. He was a great supporter of many sports and was captain of SIlkstone Golf Club, playing there for many years, He will be widely missed and the club sends its sympathy to his sons and many friends.”

Stainborough Cricket Club also paid tribute: “We are very sad that David Petherbridge, club member for many decades, has passed away. David was manager at the former Ardsley House Hotel for many years, and he made a great contribution to our successful series of sporting dinners and lunches that we held there until it closed down.

“He was a good after-dinner speaker and he was MC for the club’s 150th anniversary celebration dinner in 2009. Sincere condolences to David’s family and friends.”

In recent years, David spent a lot of time in London with Michael and his family.

Michael added: “He devoted himself to my son, Oscar who was born in 2010. He’d often be down here looking after him.

“He really enjoyed life and it is a testimony to him that he had lots of friends down here too. It was like he had a second life down here.”

He leaves his sons Nick and Michael, their partners Lesley and Jen and grandson Oscar.

Funeral details will be announced later.