Ipswich: Tributes paid to Kingfisher pub joint landlord, Kevin Ridgeon, who has died at the age of 54

Kevin Ridgeon.

Kevin Ridgeon.

Devastated family and friends have paid tribute to a popular pub landlord who has died following a freak accident, describing him as a kind hearted and genuine man.

Kevin Ridgeon, joint landlord of the Kingfisher pub in Chantry, recently started work again as a lorry driver in order to support the pub which he had run with his wife, Julie, for the last four years.

Mr Ridgeon, 54, had driven an articulated lorry to Lichfield, near Birmingham, when he fell backwards from the vehicle in the early hours of Saturday morning and suffered major injuries.

He died later that day in the University Hospital of North Staffordshire’s trauma centre.

Mr Ridgeon’s wife, Julie, 51, paid tribute to her husband, describing him as a popular and loving family man.

She said: “He was my best mate. We laughed and we played as a family.

“He loved his grandson, absolutely adored him. He would do anything for anybody, if he could help them, he would. He was just a really nice person. He always worked really hard and his family was his life.”

Most Read

Mr Ridgeon, a grandfather-of-one, took over the Kingfisher, in Hawthorn Drive, with his wife Julie about four years ago.

In that time, they turned the fortunes of the venue around, staging a number of charity events and also winning the Best Bar None, Best Community Venue and Family Friendly accolades.

Mr Ridgeon’s colleague and best friend, Damian Barron, 35, said: “It is a very close community here. Since they came in, they have changed the pub around.

“Kevin was absolutely perfect, you couldn’t ask for a better person, he was kind-hearted, he was everything. He was a genuine person who would do anything for anyone.

“If you came in for the first time for a pint you would walk out and say that bloke was really nice, and you would come back.”

Mr Ridgeon had two children and one grandson.

You can pay tribute to Mr Ridgeon by writing to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich. IP4 1A or, alternatively, you can send an email to starnews@archant.co.uk