Tributes to much-loved Leeds butcher

Wilsons Butchers.
Wilsons Butchers.
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Tributes have been paid following the death of a much-loved butcher whose legendary pies have fed countless thousands of hungry Leeds folk down the years.

Bob Green, the driving force behind Yorkshire business success story Wilsons Butchers, died aged 81 at Dewsbury Hospital after contracting pneumonia.

Bob Green, second left, with family members at an awards ceremony in 2013.

Bob Green, second left, with family members at an awards ceremony in 2013.

He bought an existing Wilsons store in Cross Gates in 1985 and today the firm employs around 75 people, with additional shops in Morley, Armley and Pontefract as well as a bakery at Normanton and a factory in Garforth.


They make and stock a wide range of mouthwatering food but are especially noted for their pork pies, which have been named the best in Yorkshire on no fewer than three occasions.

Bob’s son, John Green, today said the enduring popularity of the pies would be his dad’s legacy – and also told of his pride at the support the family had received over the last week.

He said: “So many people have been in touch and the same words keep on being used, they either say he was a really nice guy or, more simply, a gentleman.

“It’s been lovely to hear and read the messages, they have really touched us at what is obviously a difficult time.”

Bob learned his trade from his father, a butcher who had a store on Fountain Street in Morley.

After completing his national service, he managed a shop in Morley Market and later ran three stores in Bradford’s Rawson Market.

Bob made the switch to Cross Gates after supermarkets began luring customers away from traditional market halls.

He retired in 1994 and took great pleasure in the fact that, to this day, it is members of his family who continue to drive Wilsons forward.

Bob, from Gomersal, leaves a wife of 59 years, Marlene, as well as two sons and five grandchildren.

A service in celebration of his life will take place at Birkenshaw Methodist Church at 1pm this Friday.