Mr Eric Wiltshire.
A FORMER sportsman and well-known Newport businessman, Eric Wiltshire, has died, aged 77.
Mr Wiltshire was born on the Island and was the eldest son of George and Violet Wiltshire.
On leaving school, he studied farming at West Wight Agricultural College, before leaving the Island to do his National Service, serving in the catering corps in Scotland and Wales.
This gave him the skills and knowledge to take over his grandfather’s bakery business at the age of 16. On returning to the Island, Mr Wiltshire established Eric’s Bakery, at Nodehill, Newport, which he ran for many years, along with other businesses, including Eric’s Cafe, Castle Lodge Residential Home and Castle Lodge Guest House.
In 1988, Mr Wiltshire married his second wife, Rose, and they enjoyed many hobbies together.
His main hobbies included pigeon racing and he was a member of East Cowes Flying Club.
He was also a keen cricketer, footballer and dart player — playing up to super league level.
He was also an avid supporter of Southampton FC.
Mr Wiltshire leaves his six children from his first marriage, two step-daughters from his second marriage, 19 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Mr Wiltshire’s son, Peter, said: "Not only did Eric have a big family, but he also had a big heart."
Mr Wiltshire’s funeral will take place at the IW Crematorium on Tuesday, June 12, at 10.30am, followed by a wake at Newclose Cricket Ground.
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