Tribute to landlady who ran one of Newham’s big football pubs

Shirley McCarron, next to former West Ham player Tony Cottee, with the Carling Cup during a fund rai

Shirley McCarron, next to former West Ham player Tony Cottee, with the Carling Cup during a fund raising event. - Credit: submitted

A landlady, who was the country’s first single parent woman to manage a pub, has died after running one of Newham’s big football pubs for 19 years.

Shirley and Gerald McCarron at their wedding

Shirley and Gerald McCarron at their wedding - Credit: submitted

Shirley McCarron, the landlady at the Duke of Edinburgh in Green Street, Upton Park, last month lost her battle with lung cancer aged 66.

Shirley McCarron with Pat Mc Cabe who worked with her for 13 years

Shirley McCarron with Pat Mc Cabe who worked with her for 13 years - Credit: submitted

Over the years she invited the Duke of Edinburgh into the pub when he was touring East London with the Queen for her Golden Jubilee in 2002.

Many famous former footballers such as Julian Dicks would hold Q&A sessions at her pub and Sir Trevor David Brooking were among her friends.

But Shirley was also known for looking after her regulars and would look in on older customers if they stopped coming in. On four occasions she found four of them dead at their homes.


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Her husband Gerald McCarron, who married Shirley fifteen years ago, said: “She was a character. Everyone she met she left an impression on. Women looked up to her and wanted to be her. She was so caring, straight and strong. My perfect wife. I’m heartbroken.”

Shirley, originally from Doncaster, started out in London as a barmaid aged 19. Aged just 26 became the manager at a pub in South London run by Charrington.

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Gerald, a mechanical and electrical engineer with London Underground, said: “Their area managed told Shirley that running a pub was her calling.”

Later she came to Newham where she first ran the Rising Son in Romford Road.

Gerald said she had enjoyed meeting Prince Philip. “He told her he would have loved to come into the pub, but referring to the Queen, that the boss was across the road.”

More than a 100 people turned out for Shirley’s funeral service at Manor Park Crematorium.

Shirley leaves behind her sons Daniel and Lee Packham from her first marriage and grandchildren Jessica, 13, Lee Lee, 12, and Ellie 11.

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