Tributes to the ‘legend’ who collapsed and died in the pub

Thursday, 23rd May 2013

Published: 23 May, 2013

PUB regulars are mourning a man who collapsed and died in a Camden Town bar on Friday night, recalling a “legend who knew everyone, everywhere”.

Ambulance staff rushed to the Escape Sports Bar near Mornington Crescent to try and help a 58-year-old customer, named locally as Tony Saunders. It is thought he suffered a heart attack before fellow customers suddenly saw him on the floor.

He was also well known among friends in the Westport Inn in Malden Road and the Eastnor Castle in Chalton Street.

Senath Ravichandran, the manager of the Escape, said: “He came in here once or twice a week for years. He was a happy chappy.”

Police and  paramedics arrived but Mr Saunders had died at the scene.

He had gone to Sir William Collins school – now called Regent High – in Somers Town and lived around the borough all of his life, said friends.

Billy Ford, 62, said: “I can’t remember a word he said to me in all those years, even though he stood next to me every afternoon.

"He’d buy a drink, he’d stand next to me, that was enough, I knew Tony was next to me.

"I didn’t need him to talk unless he had something to say. He wasn’t going to come out with any big conversation either, he’d go from the pub to the betting shop and then home, so there wasn’t anything to say.

"It was about his presence. I’ll find someone else to stand next to. But I’ll miss him. He was a top man.”

Walden Thomas, 54, said: “The way to sum him up is that he was a legend. He knew everyone, everywhere.

"He walked into a pub, and 10 men knew him. He was born in Somers Town, he went to school here, he lived here now.

"This weekend we’ve had a few men who had been banned from the pub for years come back, because even their missus had sympathy when she heard Tony had died.”

The London Ambulance Service confirmed they had been called out at 8.42pm to reports a man who had gone into cardiac arrest.

An LAS spokesman  said: “The patient was dead at the scene.”

A police spokesman said they had arrived at approximately 9pm, but there that were “no suspicious circumstances”.

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