A pub has paid a moving tribute to its most loyal customer, who died during lockdown.
Landlady Helen Bull, of The Huntsman Taverners in Bristol, poured a pint in memory of Stan Gilvear, who drank there every day.
The 75-year-old would have been delighted with the tribute, his partner told Bristol Live.
Tracey Sherratt said: “He would have been over the moon and very touched with what his local has done for him out of respect.”
Tracey described retired factory worker Stan as her “partner, soulmate and best friend”. He passed away suddenly in January from an undiagnosed heart disease.
The pub’s Facebook post reads: “Our first pint out of the pumps today is for one of our lovely regulars Stan... when we closed on the 3rd of November he told us he was going to be the first one back in when we reopened.
“Sadly Stan passed away whilst we have been shut therefore can’t fulfil his promise. So Stan although you can’t be here to have it... the first one’s for you. We miss you lots.”
Helen, 38, revealed Stan was one of the first regulars she met after taking over the pub in August last year.
She said: “I knew him to come in every single day, except one week when he was on holiday. He’d come in at midday, have two pints and be gone.
“He was just a really lovely, kind man who spoke to everyone. He was so sweet. He made me feel really welcome when I first started.
“The last thing he said to me was, ‘I was the first one in when you opened, and I’ll be the first one in when you reopen.’”
Stan lived just across the road from the Huntsman. Helen felt it was fitting that before his funeral his hearse went past the pub he had treasured so much.
She added: “I had the idea about a month ago to pour him the first pint after reopening. I had to do something. He was such a sweetheart and he would have been first through the door.
“We all raised a glass to Stan and put his pint in the little spot where he always sat, in the bar area by the telly. We left it there for a few hours on his table.
“Pubs are more than just a drinking hole. The people become part of your life. You get to know them on such a personal level, and when one passes away it’s really sad. All the regulars miss Stan.
“I thought it would just be a few regulars who’d comment on Facebook and go ‘oh that’s nice’, but it’s reached nearly two million people.
She said: “Stan was a very, very friendly gentleman. He would sit and talk for hours. He was a very polite man and very funny, with his dry sense of humour which people loved about him.
“He was a happy man and very much a family man with me and my two children. Stan was in their lives for 32 years. He loved them very much and loved the family holidays we had a few times a year.”