FAMILY and friends of a much-loved Cirencester publican have come together to pay tribute to the man described as “everybody’s mate”.

Richard ‘Dick’ Selby, landlord of the Drillmans Arms in Stratton, died on the morning of Tuesday, February 25 at Cheltenham General Hospital following a short illness aged 64.

The dad-of-two and grandfather-of-three, who recently had his leg amputated, had worked behind the bar at the Drillmans for more than 20 years after taking over the pub with his wife Denise in November 1990.

His grandson Jordan Selby, 17, told the Standard that the death of his grandfather had “devastated” the whole family.

“It was a shock to everyone. I’ll remember his as one of the most influential people in my life. He went through a lot and would never moan about anything,” he said.

“Gramp absolutely loved the pub and all the people that came in. He was a real people’s person and would do anything for anyone. He was the loveliest bloke there was.”

News of Dick’s death has sent shockwaves through the local community with Cirencester mayor Joe Harris paying tribute to him at a Cotswold District Council meeting on Thursday, February 27.

He said: “I would like to pause proceedings to remember Dick Selby who sadly passed away on Tuesday. He was a great man who did so much for Stratton.”

Dick, a lover of all things American, was a keen sports fan who enjoyed playing cribbage against teams from rival pubs.

Since his death, the family have been inundated with messages of condolence and have received well over 100 cards from friends and relatives.

Jean Higgs, a close friend of the Selby family, contacted the Standard to remember the publican.

She said: “There have been parties through the years where we have laughed so much that we had shed tears. We shed tears now that Dick has slipped away from Denise and their sons. His spirit will live on through them all.”

While Shelley Reiner, who worked at the Drillmans for 22 years, said he was a “great innkeeper, great boss and a great friend who will be greatly missed.”

A funeral service for Dick will take place at the Parish Church of St John the Baptist on Tuesday, March 11 at 1pm.