Hundreds gather in Leeds for 'ice lolly salute' in honour of Kooler Bar

Hundreds of people paid an emotional 'ice lolly salute' tribute to a popular Leeds ice cream man following the news of his death last week.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 11:05 am
Updated Monday, 14th June 2021, 11:06 am

John Collier was one of the most popular people in Leeds with thousands of residents taking to social media to pay their respects after it was announced he had died aged 76 following a long battle against the lung condition pulmonary fibrosis.

John served ice creams to the people of Leeds for more than 40 years and was part of the childhoods of many residents from the 1970s until his retirement.

He mainly drove around the Harehills, Chapeltown and Scott Hall areas but also used to serve ice creams at weddings, parties and for companies.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Hundreds of people paid an emotional 'ice lolly salute' tribute to a popular Leeds ice cream man following the news of his death last week.
cc Angie Talbot
Hundreds of people paid an emotional 'ice lolly salute' tribute to a popular Leeds ice cream man following the news of his death last week. cc Angie Talbot

Thousands of emotional messages have been sent to his family - with some saying he was one of the kindest men they had ever met, often giving out ice creams for free to children.

Hundreds of Chapeltown residents and people from across Leeds gathered in a socially-distanced tribute event this weekend in memory of John.

An 'ice cream and ice lolly salute' was held before a minute silence and further dancing and memories shared.

John was remembered in a series of touching tributes.

John's son Jon-Paul Collier, 38, told the YEP his dad would have been "very proud" of the tribute.

He said: "I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who attended and was involved in organising the Kooler Bar appreciation event this weekend at the Wreck.

"It was so lovely to see so many people with so much love and respect for dad, he would be so proud."

Angie Talbot was one of John's neighbours and told the YEP he was one of the "loveliest" men she had ever met.

Speaking after the event, Angie said: "Jon-Paul should hopefully get lots of comfort from the outpouring of love for his dad.

"He really was a legend.

"It was a lovely tribute to him.

"The two white doves they released at the end made me cry!"