Tributes paid after death of former Eastbourne nightclub boss

Tony Rossell
Tony Rossell

Warm tributes have been paid to former Eastbourne bar and nightclub manager Tony Rossell who lost his battle with cancer last month.

Tony died at St Wilfrid’s Hospice on Sunday November 22 surrounded by his family – just days after he married Sue Bickell, the mother of his son Charlie, and jazz singer Liane Carroll sang at his bedside.

Despite suffering poor health over the last few months, the 76-year-old continued to live life to the full.

He insisted he did not want a funeral and helped plan a celebration of his life with live music which is taking place at the Winter Garden on Sunday December 13 at 2pm sharp until 6pm.

There will also be fundraising for the hospice at the event.

Born in Salford, Tony moved to Northbourne Road in Eastbourne as a teenager with his parents and brother Michael after the family had holidayed in the town.

He was a musician in the Royal Corps of Signals Band and continued as a musician with the band Three Plus One.

He worked at Radio Rentals in Eastbourne, as an estate agent at Farnham’s on the corner of Terminus Road, an insurance salesman at Imperial Life Canada and at former town centre bars The Porthole in Cornfield Terrace and Butler’s in Bolton Road.

He was also a licensee and general manager at Tuxedo Junction nightclub.

In later life he taught English to foreign language students and also travelled the world extensively.

He was a regular at Wetherspoon’s in Eastbourne, a passionate football fan and a Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club season ticket holder.

His friends and family said this week Tony was a well loved popular man who loved life.

His son Charlie Bickell, 29, said Tony was a much loved dad and grandad to Niall and a real character and live music would be the main theme of the celebration of his life.

Friend Mike Stevenson said, “Tony was like a brother to me, a very generous man and a good listener.

“He was always there, always interested in people. To the very end he was very positive about his life and stoic.

“He loved teaching his foreign students,

Friend Mike Davis said, “Tony was one of the nicest people you could meet, no malice at all and straight up.

“We would often go out on a Sunday; he loved real ale and live music and we would go to the Six Bells at Chiddingly and all the country pubs.

“He lived in Tideswell Road, or Tideswell Towers as he used to call it, and it was famous for his Sunday parties.

“He loved live music all of his life and one memorable Sunday afternoon he had the Eastbourne Silver Band playing at his house.

“Tony always said he wanted his wake to be a celebration of his life and how it was embellished by music. That was his wish.”

Tony’s brother Michael said he was known as Ant and was a “great family man”.

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