Legendary Leeds ice cream man Rossi back on his round after losing wife and son

A legendary ice cream man has sparked joy in West Leeds after firing up his van to serve customers again.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 6:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 10:34 pm

Vittorio di Mascio, the West Leeds ice cream seller known as 'Mr Rossi', was spotted in Bramley by a resident.

Described as a "legend", the man in his 80s is a bit of an institution in Pudsey and surrounding areas, where he is well-known for his smiley manner.

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Vittorio di Mascio.

A crowdfunder to help him through 'tough times' raised more than £1,100.

Vittorio has served four generations of the Bramley woman's family, and she said he was in disbelief when she heard his van pull up.

She said: "I was just sat in the garden and heard the tune he plays - I've never moved so quickly in disbelief.

"A little boy shouted 'dad, dad Rossi is here' - he got an ice cream and I waved to him from the garden.

"He’s known four generations of our family."

Vittorio is known for greeting customers with a handshake.

The woman added: "I’ll look out for him tomorrow and go speak with him and do the famous handshake (sanitised) of course."

His sighting prompted an outpouring of good feeling on Facebook group Leedsplace.

One said: "Aww is he still going....good old italian Rossi!!!!"

Another said: "He must have been going at least 40 years now - we used to chase around the estate as kids on our bikes.

"Good old Rossi - god knows how that van of his is still going."

Another said: "I remember him from when I was a kid, guy was a legend."

While another added: "The nicest bloke around and has time for anyone and everyone. I've grown up with him visiting my street and now my little lad is doing the same."

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