A HUDDERSFIELD pub landlord, well known for his love of Liverpool FC, has died aged 93.
Wally Gooding was popular with punters for his banter and charm and ran Huddersfield pubs for more than 25 years.
He grew up in Birkenhead and left school to become a milkman before joining the army in his 20s.
He was sent to a barracks in Norfolk where he met his wife-to-be Amy who was visiting friends and was from Huddersfield.
The pair married in 1946 at Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield and were married for 58 years until Mrs Gooding passed away in 2000.
Mr Gooding continued to serve in the army until the end of the war before the pair set up home in Trinity Street, Huddersfield.
He then began working for Huddersfield Corporation Waterworks during which time the couple welcomed the birth of their daughter Pauline in 1946.
After a stint working part time in The Crown, Huddersfield, he decided to become a pub landlord and the young family moved to run The Royal at Milnsbridge in 1959.
He went on to run The Unicorn in the Shambles for several years, and later The Queen’s Head in King Street which he renamed The Royal Unicorn.
He was well-known for his love of Liverpool FC.
His parents were both former Evertonians but after his uncle took him to the game as a lad he became a die-hard Reds fan.
He also had a keen interest in golf and was a member of Longley Golf Club for a number of years.
He was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2002 but fought the disease and was given the all-clear.
His daughter Pauline, said: “He loved football.
“He used to play football when he was a lad. He even had trials for England boys but he was told he wasn’t tall and heavy enough, and that’s just the way it was in those days.”
She added: “He loved pubs, he was always having banter with everyone. “They were town centre pubs but they had the feel of locals.
“And when Liverpool were playing all the supporters used to come in.”
But his daughter said one of his proudest moments was to celebrate his 90th birthday in the directors box at Liverpool FC.
Mr Gooding was disappointed after his beloved team were knocked out of the Champions Cup and therefore could not make the trip to Moscow on his 90th birthday.
However his nephew Paul contacted the club to tell them of his uncle’s disappointment and he was invited him to sit in the directors’ box.
Pauline said: “It was one of the proudest moments watching his great granddaughter Lily, being led out by Steven Gerrard on the pitch as mascot. It meant the world to him.”
Pauline said her father’s health deteriorated in March and he spent several months in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary before moving to Thornhill Nursing Home in May.
He died at the home on October 5.
He leaves behind daughter Pauline and husband Alan, grandchildren Craig and Ian and Lynette and Sally.
He was a doting great-grandad to Lily, eight, Ben, three, and one-year-old Tom.
His funeral was held at Huddersfield Crematorium on October 14 where Ian read his eulogy.