TRIBUTES have been paid to a pilot and motorcycling enthusiast who ran a fish and chip shop for 43 years.

Some 190 people attended the funeral of great-grandfather Christopher Alan Lightfoot at St Mary’s Church, Thirsk, following his death aged 67 last month.

The collection raised £900, which will be split between the church and Cancer Research UK.

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Mr Lightfoot, who was known as Alan, died at his home in Victoria Avenue, Sowerby, 16 months after being told the pancreatic cancer he had been diagnosed with in February 2011 had relapsed.

After growing up on his family’s farm at Thrintoft, near Ainderby Steeple, aged 21 he launched Seven Seas Fisheries, re-establishing a fish and chip shop at the premises in Westgate, Thirsk.

His widow, Kath, whom he married in 1993 and worked with him in the shop, said: “Alan had a passion for producing good quality fish and chips and knew how to cook them.

“He was always very considerate to the staff, everyone thought he was very fair and if somebody needed help he was always good and reliable.”

Outside of work Mr Lightfoot was a keen pilot, flying a Davis V-tailed plane from Bagby Airfield before buying a touring motorbike and riding it across Europe.

He also leaves sons Terence, Andrew, John and Steven, ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.