Tributes pour in for 'dearly loved' Sunderland pub landlord and avid SAFC fan
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A much-loved pub landlord and massive Sunderland AFC supporter has passed away after a long illness at the age of 79.
John Snaith passed away at his Grangetown home on Saturday, February 3, with his family beside him.
John ran a number of North East pubs in his time, including the Mowbray Park Hotel in the 1980s. But in the pub game he is probably best known as the boss of the Colliery Tavern, across the road from his beloved Stadium of Light.
He ran the pub from 2006, right up to the end of his life, welcoming hordes of Sunderland fans and many others from visiting clubs.
It was a labour of love. Such was his devotion to his football team, he made the long trips with his wife Teresa to Plymouth Argyle and Swansea City in November 2023, despite his illness.
In 2018 SAFC tweeted John a speedy recovery when he was in a car crash on his way to Nottingham Forest. The last game he attended was at home to Hull City in January.
John also helped to raise funds for Sunderland Royal Hospital, St Benedict's Hospice and a string of other charities besides.
Many tributes have been paid to John on social media from around the UK as well as from Argentina, USA, Canada, the Netherlands and Germany.
John and his wife Teresa were married on Valentine's Day 2003. They were a couple for 28 years. He leaves behind eight children, 13 grandchildren and was also a great-granddad.
Teresa and the family are to continue running the Colliery Tavern.
Teresa Snaith told the Echo about John's passion for SAFC.
She said: "You have no idea. Honestly. He loved his team. He supported the club in everything; at every sportsman's dinner, every charity event, he and his friends would take tables.
"At the Norwich game (October 28) we were very kindly invited into the boardroom, which was wonderful.
"He was very dearly loved. He was very kind an did lots for the community. He helped everybody. He set up a community Facebook page during covid, if anybody needed shopping delivered.
"He's left a huge void in everybody's life."
It was a life well lived. John's funeral will be held at Sunderland Crematorium on Tuesday, February 27 between 11am and noon.