Veteran town centre fish frier dies in arms of wife

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A member of Doncaster’s oldest fish frying dynasty has died peacefully at the age of 80.

Ron Rothwell, whose family have chip shops in Doncaster Market Place and Copley Road, died in the arms of his wife, Margaret, on Monday.

He retired from the business in 1969 but most of his working life was devoted to serving fish and chips to many thousands of customers.

In recent years his health had been blighted by breathing difficulties and lung disease brought on by his earlier life as a coal miner and years of being a smoker.

Mr Rothwell was the son of Chris and Phyllis Rothwell, who opened their fish and chip shop on Copley Road in the 1950s.

On leaving school Ron got a job with the new defunct Doncaster Gazette as a delivery boy and then became a printer before working as a miner for 12 years.

He became a fish frier in the 1960s and continued until he hung up his apron 11 years ago. The firm is still run by two of their four children and has become a fourth-generation business with three of their grandsons now working in the shops, which were closed on Monday as a mark of respect.

Mrs Rothwell said at the couple’s home in Sutton: “He knew such a lot of people and a lot of our older customers will remember him. All the market traders knew him and the people from the fair when it was at the racecourse. He served the grandparents of a lot of the current customers.”

Mr Rothwell devoted his retirement to his family and worshipping at Doncaster Pentecostal Church. His funeral has not yet been arranged.