THE family of a much-loved Tadley man have paid tribute to him following his death at the age of 79.

Joe Green was well-known in the area, having run Tadley Pet Supplies, in Heath End Road, Baughurst, for decades.

He set up the shop in 1987 and, despite retiring in 2005, returned six years later to take the reins once more.

His son Andrew said: “He was very outgoing and he would speak to anyone. Everyone knew and liked him.

“He used to love organising the Christmas event at the shop – it was a way of giving something back to all the customers.”

The 40-year-old added: “He was in the trade for more than 40 years, and he loved the job.

“He put his heart and soul into the business.

“All of the reps knew him and many of them came along to his funeral – there must have been around 200 people at the funeral.

“He will be very much missed by a lot of people.”

Joe, a grandfather-of-nine, who lived in Burghfield Common, had three other sons – Matt, Nick and Mark. He also leaves behind his wife, Daphne.

He was a big football fan and lifelong supporter of Reading FC. He also enjoyed horse racing and often visited various race courses when he wasn’t running the shop or spending time with his large family.

Joe, who worked in Tadley market before setting up Tadley Pet Supplies, had suffered with poor health in the last year.

He died on Boxing Day after suffering two strokes in December, and being diagnosed with pneumonia.