TRIBUTES have been paid to one of the borough’s best-known businessmen, who has died at the age of 68.
John Hughes, who founded John Hughes Carpets in 1968, died after a battle with a rare liver condition.
His son Darren said: “Everybody knew dad and I’m getting people coming in every day with tributes.
“He was very committed to work and worked very hard to support me and mum.
“At most points in my childhood, I knew he was out at work supporting us.”
Mr Hughes grew up in Whiston before opening his first showroom on Domine Lane in the town centre in the 1960s.
In 1981, the firm moved to Wickersley Road, near Stag roundabout.
It has been based on East Bawtry Road, Whiston, since 2008.
Darren said: “The company has been built on recommendations from loyal customers and offering superior quality.
“Dad wasn’t interested in selling the cheap stuff that needed replacing after a few years.
“We have customers who have had their carpets for more than 40 years.”
Darren, John’s only child, joined the firm two years ago after he opened a branch in Scotter, near Gainsborough in Lincolnshire.
“I was working for a national chain but about two years he saw a shop and, despite his health, he ended up supporting me through that and opened the shop in his name,” Darren said.
Mr Hughes suffered with haemochromatosis - a rare liver condition in which iron levels in the body slowly build up over the years.
“If he hadn’t haveworked as much as he did, I think we would have lost him sooner because it kept him busy,” Darren said.
Mr Hughes’ funeral took place at Whiston Parish Church.
He leaves wife June, son Darren, and grandchildren Oliver (7), Evie (5) and Freya (1).