TRIBUTES have been paid to a much-loved Wrexham tour guide and community stalwart after his tragic sudden death. 

Phil Phillips, aged 73, was on holiday in Canada when he suffered a fatal heart attack on September 25.

Phil, from Rhos, was well-known for his "love" for all things Wrexham, and he will be very sadly missed by all who knew him. 

He ran the Wrexham Town Trails alongside his wife and won national awards for his tour guiding - including from Croeso Cymru (Visit Wales). 

He was married to his wife Karen for 42 years and was father to Gareth and Sioned and brother to Margaret, Ann and Bronwen. 

Karen, who lost Phil on their wedding anniversary, paid a touching tribute to him. 

"He had a really brilliant mind," she said. "He researched absolutely everything in the area, and his depth of knowledge about Wrexham was incredible.

"Phil was a very kind and faithful man. He was so popular in Wrexham - trips to town would take us hours as he stopped to chat to so many people. He was so well-liked."

Karen continued: "We lost our daughter, Rhian, in 2008. To try and take our minds off it, Phil and I started researching Wrexham - that's where the tours started. 

"He ran tours for everyone, including schools, people with disabilities and more recently Americans who have been visiting since Rob and Ryan's takeover of the football club.

"He absolutely loved Wrexham, and was so passionate about protecting its heritage."

The Leader: Phil Phillips on one of his guided tours of Wrexham.Phil Phillips on one of his guided tours of Wrexham. (Image: Family photo)

Phil was also a huge and life-long Wrexham AFC fan and was a regular on the Kop terrace in the days before it closed. He was also a club steward on match days for many years.

"It was great for him that he was here to see the club's transformation under Ryan and Rob," Karen said. "That meant so much to him."

He is also well-known for setting quizzes for establishments across the area, as well as working closely with Wrexham's Portuguese community. 


Phil's love for Wales matched his love for Wrexham, and he was a bastion of the Welsh language. 

"He offered to do his tours in both English and Welsh," Karen said. "He taught a lot of people how to speak Welsh through classes at Saith Seren.

"The day before his death, he watched Wales play in the Rugby World Cup. He adored his country."

The Leader: Phil and wife, Karen. Phil and wife, Karen. (Image: User generated content)

Nigel Lewis, chairman of the Wrexham Town Centre Forum, said: "He was known to many in Wrexham for his amazing knowledge of Wrexham, local history, his passion for Wales and the Welsh language. 

"Phil was an absolute gentleman, I always enjoyed talking to him. I’m certain that if Phil was cut in half you would see the words Wrexham like a stick of rock."

Peter Humphreys, who runs Yellow & Blue Hub (YaB) in Wrexham, added: "Many times [he] taught people in YaB about the history of Wrexham.

"I’ll leave you with a comment a couple of years ago, from a good friend of mine who had only just met Phil - ’Pete, if that man ever passes away, god forbid, there will be a huge wealth of knowledge of Wrexham that passes with him, an end of an era - what he doesn’t know about Wrexham isn’t worth knowing'."

"It’s extremely sad this has now come to be true. A very sad day for Wrexham. A legend of a gentleman."

As a testament to his character, over 120 people left comments of condolence after news of his passing was announced on the Wrexham Town Matters Facebook group. 

The Leader: