'He is just a lovely guy' - Sheffield village rallies round much-loved pub landlord
Kind-hearted punters at a Sheffield pub have rallied together to set up a fundraising page to helps its landlord stay in business after he was diagnosed with cancer.
Former ice hockey player and father-of-two Dave Briggs, aged 40, the landlord of the Blue Ball in Wharncliffe Side, was first diagnosed with lymphoma - and then suffered complications from a burst spleen, sepsis and pneumonia as well.
Now, Blue Ball customer and businesswoman Louisa Bertam – who says Dave’s influence on the village and its community can not be overstated – has set up a crowdfunding page to raise money for him in his hour of need.
She said: “I have only lived in the area for two years but he is obviously such an integral part of the village. I just want to get as much help as possible for him.
“Despite lots of ups and downs he has always tried to foster community spirit. He is always running charity events and is really helpful to everyone – he is just a lovely guy.”
Louisa said Dave had been a key part of community life since he saved the Wharncliffe Arms from closure – twice – by taking it over and running it for the good of the community.
However, since that pub was finally forced to close its doors he has run the Blue Ball on Main Road in similar fashion.
Louisa added: “He has been battling to keep the pub going as an important part of the village.
“He didn’t want it to shut down and has just paid quite a lot of money to have it refurbished. But he isn’t going to be able to work for six months.
“He is involved in every part of it so it is really sad to see him in this situation. He has two children and is a very proud guy.”
“I just want to get everyone in the community behind him and raise a bit of money.”
Louisa has set the page an initial target of £1,000, and already has four donations totalling £80 despite having done almost no publicity.
In a succesful ice hockey career which ended only last year, Dave played for the Sheffield Blazers as well as Cardiff, Bradford and Sunderland.
To find out more or donate visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/louisa-bertram-1.