TRIBUTES have been paid to a former Burton brewery worker who has died at his Florida home following a battle with stomach cancer last Saturday (February 22).
63-year-old Geoff Jones grew up in Burton, attending Anglesey School before starting an apprenticeship at Ind Coope brewery in 1966 aged 15.
He also developed an interest in bodybuilding and in 1979 he represented Ind Coope in the annual barrel rolling championships. In 1981 he was awarded second place in the ‘Mr. Burton’ bodybuilding contest before winning the ‘Mr. Midlands’ title a year later after only two years of training.
Geoff became manager of the Allied Breweries Social Club in 1986 and was awarded the Guild of Master Cellarman by Ind Coope the following year. In 1991 he received his 25-year service award from the brewery.
His former wife Peggy Jones told the Mail: “He was in with the Northern Soul crowd. He enjoyed himself going to places such as the Wigan Casino, Twisted Wheel and the 76 Club to name but a few.
“He was always keen to learn extra things outside work and completed a number of diploma courses in aromatherapy and massage before joining the Royal Society of Health to become a fitness instructor in 1990.”
It was then that Geoff, who had an interest in a number of sports including karate, swimming and golf, took his interest in bodybuilding to the next level.
He established his own company, called Forfeit, which advised people on various aspects of fitness, dieting and training. Along with a colleague from the brewery, he built and patented a machine used to for back training which gained interest from Burton Hospital.
Peggy said: “In 1997 he then decided he was going to go on a world tour.
He travelled to many countries before he decided to settle in Orlando in Florida.”
Geoff’s friend Sylvia Finnegan described him as a man who was extremely popular and had a big personality. He leaves behind five daughters - Kerry, Sheridan, Tami and Naomi and Joanne.