The husband of a much-loved landlady of two Ellesmere Port pubs who tragically lost her battle with cancer last month has paid tribute to a ‘fantastic lady’.

Dawn Holmes, 55, who ran the Horse and Jockey and Sir Robert with her husband of 35 years John Holmes, passed away on October 31, after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and a brain tumour earlier this year.

So well-regarded was Dawn that friends, family and pub regulars banded together in July to raise nearly £3,000 to send her and John on holiday.

Around 500 people turned out for the Do It 4 Dawn fundraiser at the Horse and Jockey, which featured local bands and artists as well as raffles, face painting and pool and darts competitions.

English professional Bantamweight boxer and former IBF Bantamweight champion Paul Butler auctioned off a signed glove in aid of the event, which raised £300.

Dawn with husband John and IBF World Bantamweight Champion Paul Butler with the signed glove he auctioned off for £300

Dawn was unable to fly so she and John drove across Europe in September.

John said their final holiday together ‘was everything to Dawn’.

“It gave us time to talk and arrange everything,” he said.

It was during the trip that Dawn learned she also had a brain tumour, after becoming unwell in Belgium.

John, 57, said it was love at first sight when he met his future wife in a nightclub in Ellesmere Port all those years ago.

He and Dawn lived in Whitby and had three daughters - Nikki, Becky and Kirstie - and one grandson.

He said: “She was just a fantastic lady and she would have done anything for anyone.

“Anyone who met Dawn would just fall in love with her straight away - she was that type of person.

“She was a very, very brave lady.

“A devoted mother and a devoted wife.

“She deserves to be remembered.”

Dawn’s funeral was held last Wednesday (November 12) at St Paul’s Church in Ellesmere Port.

In a fitting send-off for the community figure, the funeral procession was led by bikers who were Horse and Jockey regulars, riding in front of and either side of the hearse.

John added: “It was fantastic. There must have been 400 people there. It meant an awful lot to us.”

Friends and family ‘Do It 4 Dawn’