Tributes have been paid to a popular business owner and devoted family man who was a fixture in the community for nearly 40 years.

Steve McArdle, who ran Steve McArdle Family Butchers in Chirk, died aged 64 on Thursday after an 18 month battle with cancer.

Mr McArdle, of Llanymynech, was a familiar face to shoppers in Chirk, where he ran a business with wife Sandra, 64, and their children Mark, 39, and
Helen 37.

Mark said: “He always had a real zest for life. He loved nothing more than being in the shop serving customers and always had a smile.”

Mr McArdle originally of Liverpool, moved to Llanymynech as a young man, where met his wife.

The couple established their business 37 years ago, moving to its current location on Church Street two years later, and they put their heart and soul into getting the shop off the ground, according to Mark.

He said Mr McArdle was diagnosed with cancer 18 months ago, and he underwent treatment at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

But in November doctors told Mr McArdle he probably had only six months to live.

“The news in November really was devastating to all of us,” Mark added.

He said his father was determined to spend his last Christmas at home with wife, children and five grandchildren – Tommy, nine; Jenson, seven; Laila, five; Alfie, four and Cooper, 10 months.

“That’s what he fought for. He spent his last Christmas at home and he passed away on Thursday, December 28,” he added.

Around 700 messages of condolence have been posted on the business’ Facebook page, and Mark McArdle said his father would have been astounded at the reaction.

“We never imagined that it would get the response it has had. It’s just amazing and he would be blown away. I think it just goes to show what people did think of him,” he said.

“He was just a real gentleman, he treated everybody the right way and he never had a bad word to say about anybody. He was just one of the good guys.

“He was devoted to his family. We were talking about him the other day and my son, who’s nine, said that he was ‘beyond brilliant’.

“That’s just what the grandkids thought of him. They loved him so much and he loved them.”

Mr McArdle was a keen badminton player in his youth, and also kept birds and fish as well as being an avid gardener.

But his favourites things were being around the dinner table with his family and in the shop with staff and customers, his son added.

Mark McArdle has set up an online fundraising page for Severn Hospice, in recognition of the support his parents received in his final months.

“The nurses and everyone who dealt with him were just first class and he was really appreciative of any care he received.

Of Shrewsbury Hospital, Mark McArdle added: “He was always felt they did their best for him.

“That’s just the type of person he was though. He never moaned or complained, he was just grateful for everything.”

Mr McArdle’s funeral will be held at St Agatha’s Church, Llanymynech at 11am on Tuesday, January 9.

To donate to the hospice appeal, visit www.justgiving. com/fundraising/ stevemcardle.