Express & Star

Founder of cider company dies at the age of 65 following cancer battle

The founder of the Halfpenny Green Cider Company has died at the age of 65.


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Tony Lovering, of Dark Lane, Kinver, started the business in Bobbington in 2016.

Mr Lovering, who was originally an oil consultant had put the business up for sale due to failing health but had not been able to sell it before his death on Saturday, May 11.

His wife Inez, who runs Clear-Mind Counselling in High Street, Kinver, said Tony, who was born in Crayford, Kent, had been diagnosed with a rare cancer of the appendix called Hipec – an appendiceal adenocarcinoma – in 2021.

Tony Lovering who founded the Halfpenny Green Cider Company has died aged 65

"It affects only one in two million. We are keen for people to know about it because we want to raise awareness of this horrible cancer," she said.

Mr Lovering had groundbreaking treatment in the Christie Hospital, Manchester, and was able to resume working until last summer when he had to start having total parenteral nutrition.

He died in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

In 2000 the father-of-two was taken hostage in Africa where he was working for oil service company Schlumberger.

Up to 40 gangsters armed with machetes stormed on to the Nigerian oil rig where Mr Lovering was working and grabbed him and his Polish colleague.

They were dragged into a speed boat and held in a mud hut while his kidnappers made a ransom demand.

The kidnap sparked a massive search but after three days in the jungle they were rescued by a team of specially trained armed police.

In 2009 he raced into the world record books – with his remote-controlled rocket car.

His custom-built Black Knight achieved a speed of 161.34mph at Shakespeare County Racetrack, near Stratford-Upon-Avon.

His funeral will be held at Comber Ridge Burial Ground, Kinver, on June 10 at 11am.

There will be a party in his memory following that at The Fox, Stourton, where some of his remaining stock of cider, including champagne-style cider, will be served for family and friends.

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