Gino Palmieri - hairdresser to Ipswich Town stars and Sir Bobby Robson himself - loses battle with cancer

 Gino Palmieri with Sir Bobby Robson

Gino Palmieri with Sir Bobby Robson - Credit: contributed

One of the best-known hairdressers in Ipswich has died aged 78 after a long battle with cancer.

Luigi Palmieri – known all over the town and across most of Suffolk as Gino – died in Ipswich Hospital leaving his wife Mary and two sons.

He founded Gino’s Hairdressers in Falcon Street which is still run by his sons Francis and Jonathan.

Gino set up his business in the 1960s and soon became well known for his modern hairstyles for the younger generation.

His sons said he introduced customers in Ipswich to hairdryers and shampoos – and spared them from the dreaded short back and sides.

He competed in national hairdressing competitions and was chosen to represents England by the National Hairdressing Federation – not bad for an Italian who retained strong links with his homeland.

Gino was the hairdresser of choice for many of the Ipswich Town stars of the 1970s and 80s – and became a close personal friend of Sir Bobby Robson, the first of three Town managers whose hair he cut.

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Sir Bobby continued to be a regular visitor to his salon even after he left Portman Road – while boss of Barcelona the ex-England boss would fly over to stay at his Ipswich home and have his hair cut.

Gino also cut the hair of Sir Bobby’s successors at Portman Road Bobby Ferguson and John Lyall with whom he also became close friends.

The salon has remained opened since his death, and Francis and Jonathan said they had been able to take strength from the number of people who have come in to pass on their condolences.

They said: “Gino was a big Ipswich personality who had time for everyone with a big smile and genuine enthusiasm. He loved people and he loved life.”

Many of his customers became close personal friends. His sons said: “Once in Gino’s chair customers would quickly form a bond with his engaging personality and form great friendships which have lasted years – 50 years for some.”

Gino lived with Mary at Nacton, and spent a great deal of time with his family – including his five grandchildren.

He was passionate about his garden and his home often seemed to be full with friends and members of his family.

There will be a thanksgiving service for Gino’s life at Nacton church at noon on December 3 following a private cremation service. Donations in his memory can be made to the East Suffolk Prostate Cancer Support Group through the Co-op funeral service at Walton in Felixstowe.