Tributes paid to town fashion entrepreneur

John Bates
John Bates
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tributes have been paid to a “larger than life” fashion retailer who opened some of the borough’s first ever designer shops.

John Bates, 65, who opened Clouds in the 70s in East Laith Gate and Replay Designer Outlet in the 80s died in a hospice in Ashton-Under-Lyne.

Mr Bates, who died of cancer on June 16, was a well-known face on the Doncaster fashion scene.

Speaking about his passion for fashion, friend John Willis, of Harrowden Road, Wheatley, said: “His clothes shops were so iconic because they were among the first to stock designer clothes.

“He was such a flamboyant person, he was larger than life and loved clothes so as a tribute to this no one is allowed to wear black at the funera. We are all going to turn out in something John would have approved of.

“He was such a generous man. Whenever we went out he was always the first one at the bar getting the drinks in and always the last on at the bar getting the drinks in.”

Mr Bates, whose father Hubert was one of the longest serving directors of Doncaster Rovers, also had a passion for music.

After studying design and advertising in London he went on to work in radio advertising.

Shortly after Mr Bates opened a music venue in Preston, Bar 12, and enjoyed a stint as a DJ.

One of Mr Bates’ contacts from his work in the music world is George Borowski, a musician who inspired Dire Straits lyric “Check out Guitar George, he knows all the chords..”

Mr Borowski is set to perform at a wake for Mr Bates after the funeral service tomorrow.

Those wishing to pay the respects can meet at The Crowthorn Pub, Crowthorn Road, Ashton-Under-Lyne at 12. The funeral service takes pace at Dukinfield Cemetery and Crematorium, Hall Green Road, Dukinfield, followed by a wake at The Crowthorn pub - a venue Mr Bates used to run.