Dad dies during family meal inside Wetherspoon’s pub as devastated widow pays tribute

Michael O’Sullivan, 74, was enjoying a drink and food at the Reginald Mitchell when he became suddenly ill before shortly being confirmed dead at the scene

Paramedics battled to save the 74-year-old's life after being called to the Parliament Row boozer, but he was confirmed dead at the scene
Paramedics battled to save the 74-year-old’s life

A popular publican died inside a Wetherspoon pub after collapsing during a family meal.

Michael O’Sullivan was enjoying a drink and food at the Reginald Mitchell in Hanley, Stoke, when he became suddenly ill.

Paramedics battled to save the 74-year-old’s life after being called to the Parliament Row boozer, but he was confirmed dead at the scene.

Now his heartbroken relatives have paid tribute to Michael, who previously ran The Bradeley in Tunstall.

He leaves behind wife Pauline, son Michael, daughter-in-law Sharon, grandchildren Scott and Shaun, and sister Jean, reports Stoke-on-Trent Live.

Widow Pauline explained that they had gone to Wetherspoons with Michael and Sharon as she had an appointment in Hanley on January 14.

The 74-year-old said: “It was the first time we went Wetherspoons in a long time.

Michael O’Sullivan and wife Pauline


Stoke Sentinel / BPM Media)

“We were just enjoying a family meal. We were there for half an hour and his heart just stopped, that was it. We hadn’t had much to drink.

“There were two nurses in the pub who tried to help, my son tried to help too. The paramedics came very quickly. They were crying because they couldn’t bring him back.

“The police came and they brought me flowers the next day and said how hard it was for them to see such a gentleman go like he has.

“I’m still shocked. It was devastating and just so unexpected. Everybody is devastated. He was the center of the family.”

Michael, formerly of Norton, had met Pauline at the cinema when they were 16-years-old and they had been together ever since.

Sadly, Pauline was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in May but Michael supported her through six chemotherapy treatments, which has slowed down her cancer.

Pauline said: “When Covid struck I’d got my illnesses and he has helped me through it all.

“They said I hadn’t gotten long at first and now they say the chemo has slowed it down a bit. We had some time to think about doing more and going on holidays.

“Michael has been tremendous in helping me. He has been helping me to get on with it. He was the one who told me to have chemotherapy because I didn’t want to. It convinced me that I should and it helped.

“I’m devastated because we’ve got good news and he is not here to share it with me.”

The couple ran The Bradeley for 14 years with Michael forming 11 darts teams which attracted even 16 times world champion Phil Taylor and his son Chris to play.

His hobbies included fishing and he took part in competitions when he wasn’t serving pints to thirsty punters.

Prior to The Bradeley herald The Crown in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

In his early years he taught foundry engineering at Stoke-on-Trent College, Burslem, after becoming the city’s youngest foundry manager while working at Hanley.

Both Michael and Pauline retired aged 70 and had plans to travel together before his sudden death.

Paying tribute to her husband, Pauline said: “He was lovely and a family man. I have looked after us.

“While we were in the pubs he was sociable with all the lads. He loved being in the pub trade and he kept a good house and beer. I have enjoyed meeting people.

“When we came out of the Crown we traveled around. We went all around the country running pubs for different breweries. We got fed up with traveling so we decided to take on The Bradeley.

“Michael built the darts teams up, he has got a lot of friends in darts. They came to him because he was such a good landlord. He was very generous.

“We’ve had a very good life. I had my own career in promotions and market research but on weekends I’d be at the pub to help him.

“I’m going to miss his company and banter. I’m sitting on my own now when we’re usually talking.

“I’m feeling very sad. It’s so unreal. I keep thinking he is going to be here. My family has been very supportive.

“We had planned so many things together. We were going to go on a cruise and do holidays. He was taking me to Ireland where he was born – all of that has gone now.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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