TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular former Blackburn nightclub boss who has died aged 75.

The funeral of Sid Stewart, who ran the Cavendish Club and Red Parrot in Blackburn, takes place today.

Friends and family paid tribute to a ‘warm, sympathetic’ man who ‘brought the big time to Blackburn’.

Mr Stewart, who lived in Barrowford with his partner George Moss, had suffered from a heart condition for some years and passed away peacefully in his sleep.

Originally from County Durham, Mr Stewart, who lived with George in Darwen until moving eight years ago, also leaves behind a sister, Anne.

Mr Moss, who had been with Mr Stewart for 45 years, said: “Everything he did was very successful.

“He was the sort of fella that involved himself in the community.

“He was involved with Blackburn Lions and did fundraising for Calderstones.

“Right until his death he was also involved with the Blackburn branch of the Samaritans.

“He was warm and sympathetic and loved a good political argument.

“One of the eulogies written for the funeral says: ‘He was known to the people who knew him closely as the godfather as he was always there for everybody’.”

Mr Stewart came to Blackburn to run the newly-opened Cavendish Club for then the largest nightclub chain in Europe, the Bailey Organisation, which was based in the North East.

Mr Moss said: “It was a bit of a catch for the town as they didn’t have anything like it.

“He was the club’s first general manager and he never really left!”

After a brief hiatus in Oldham when the Cavendish was burned down in 1973, Mr Stewart returned as regional manager when it reopened as Romeo and Juliet’s the following year.

Along with Mr Moss, he took over the Red Parrot at the Sett End Inn, Shadsworth, and also the Yellow Submarine and neighbouring Boom Boom Room in Blackpool.

Friend and fellow former nightspot owner Margo Grimshaw said: “He was a big innovator and The Cav was the place to go in Blackburn.

“He put the Blackburn nightlife on the map. Before then we had nothing and he brought the big time to Blackburn.”

Mr Stewart’s funeral was due to take place today at St Anne’s Church in Fence from 10am, followed by interment at Barrowford Cemetery at 11.45am.