JOE Hill, founder member of the Black Country Ale Tairsters, passed away on Friday, March 21, aged 83, following a battle with cancer.
Joe, from West Bromwich, started the group with his son Pete in 1984 when they set themselves the ambitious target of drinking a pint in every pub in the country while raising money for charity along the way.
In 30 years they supped at 17,555 pubs, raised many thousands of pounds for various charities, the latest being the Sandwell and Birmingham Children's Hospital, and earned themselves a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
Their mission began with the target of visiting 300 Banks's pubs that were featured on a special map.
With that completed the Ale Tairsters extended their mammoth pub crawl to the rest of the country, travelling well over 250,000 miles across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – they even visited the only pub on the island of Lundy.
Joe and the Ale Tairsters crossed the Channel for a few "extras" at pubs and bars in Germany, Holland and the Czech Republic, but these did not count towards their record-breaking total.
Pete Hill said: "Dad kept quiet about his illness as he wanted to finish visiting every pub in Wales."
That quest was completed last year, with 3,905 pubs chalked up and over 76,000 miles of Welsh roads covered.
Joe did his National Service with the REME and afterwards worked as a toolmaker for Hawker's in the Jewellery Quarter.
The funeral takes place at 11am on Tuesday, April 8, at St Peter's Church, Whitehall Road, Greets Green, West Bromwich; flowers or donations to the Sandwell and Birmingham Children's Hospital.
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