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Auf Wiedersehen Ernie

Created on 16/06/2018 @ 09:03
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A former Welshpool landlord and father to one of the town’s most famous sons will receive a guard of honour from the Royal Navy Association at his funeral next week.

Ernie Holton, a former licensee of the Wellington and father of Auf Wiedersehen Pet star Gary Holton (pictured), has died at the age of 93.

The family hails originally from South London but Ernie and first wife Joan moved to Welshpool at the end of 1969, and he gave up a good job with Sainsbury’s to take over the pub. 

In 1972 he went to the Crown & Sceptre in Minsterley, and then also had the Tankerville Arms at Longden from 1975. His last job was as steward at Meole Brace Bowling Club, Shrewsbury, in charge of the bar there.

Son Gary forged an acting career, starring in the hit 1980s TV show Auf Wiedersehen Pet in which he played ladies’ man Wayne Norris. 

He had a reputation for hard living and died in his sleep aged only 32 in 1985, and his ashes were brought to Welshpool for burial. 

As one of Britain’s biggest celebrities at the time, Gary was followed relentlessly by the British tabloids and was a regular on the front pages. His tribute on the family gravestone at Maesgwastad Cemetery reads: ‘a star in heaven’.

Ernie served in the Royal Navy during the war on the frigate HMS Hotham and his funeral at Emstrey Crematorium on June 21 at 2pm will include a guard of honour from the Royal Naval Association. 

Mr Holton is survived by wife Joy, sons Tony and Nigel, stepson Mark, and grandchildren Jake, Ben, Jack, Joe, and Red, who was Gary’s son. 

“It’s sad, but he had a good innings,” Tony told the Shropshire Star.

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