500 pay tribute to city landlady Sylvia Johnson

A well-known landlady who pulled pints in pubs across Wolverhampton has died at the age of 72.

WD3721044@SYLVIA JOHNSON
Sylvia Johnson

A well-known landlady who pulled pints in pubs across Wolverhampton has died at the age of 72.

Relatives today paid tribute to Sylvia Johnson, who they described as "full of fun and laughter". She died at her Bushbury Road home after suffering breathing difficulties.

More than 500 people attended the funeral of the great grandmother at St Mary's Church.

She was best known for serving behind the bar at the Great Horse in Prestwood Road, Fallings Park, which she ran for 15 years until it closed last March.

Mrs Johnson's daughter-in-law, Martyne Johnson, also of Bushbury Road, said: "She was a dot of a woman, only five foot tall, but she was so full of fun and laughter, everybody was just drawn to her.

"She was born into the pub trade and stayed in it all her life but the customers would follow her from one pub to another they respected her so much.

"They respected her humour and the fact she wouldn't stand any trouble.

"That's why so many people came to pay their respects and the family are extremely grateful for that."

Mrs Johnson was born in Oldbury. Her family had been in the pub trade since 1913 and her mother, Amelia, ran the Golden Ball Inn in the town.

They moved to the White Horse, in Coseley, when Mrs Johnson was six and it was there she first served behind a bar as a teenager.

After that she worked at several pubs in Wolverhampton before taking over the Great Horse in 1995.

The pub attracted several celebrities for charity functions while she was there, including footballers Alan Ball and Geoff Hurst, darts star Phil Taylor and boxer Joe Egan.

Mrs Johnson, who died on June 26, leaves two sons, Tony and Carl, daughter-in-law Martyne, five grandchildren, Lee, Nina, Jessica, Jay and Brandon, and a great granddaughter, Krystal.