Hundreds of cards and messages from heartbroken friends and customers have been received by the Shiel family as people come to terms with the loss of one of Worthing’s most popular pub landlords.
Michael Shiel, the landlord at The George and Dragon, Tarring, and The Black Horse, Findon, died unexpectedly on Friday.
His family said it was a great loss to them, his friends and the community.
Michael, born in Lewisham, South London, was one of seven children and went to school locally at St Marys RC Primary School and later at Robert Southwell (now Chatsmore).
At school, he formed lifelong friendships and became a welcomed guest of the local Italian community and later played football for Azurri football club.
He represented many other local football clubs including Worthing Civic, Whitbread Wanderers (Golden Lion), Worthing United and Ferring.
He was a fiercely competitive player who excelled at squash and other rackets sports and in his time as landlord has supported many local sporting clubs including Worthing Rugby Club.
Although Michael initially trained as a panel beater, he was always destined for a more customer-facing career.
He became a successful salesman before moving into the pub trade and started his licensee journey at The Hare and Hounds in Portland Road.
He met his wife Linda in 2005 and married in 2011.
Together, they have run ‘the G and D’, as it is affectionately known, since 2009 where they have championed the local music scene and supported numerous charities.
His family said: “Famed for his hospitality and generosity, the town has lost one of its treasures, but for Harry Shiel and Jamie Shiel, his two sons, they have lost their hero and could not have wished for a better dad.”
Michael leaves behind his wife Linda, his two sons Harry Shiel and Jamie Shiel, his mother Shirley, his sisters and brother, eleven nieces and nephews, step children and two step-grandchildren.
Details of the funeral are still to be to arranged.