Former Pool star’s visit to lifelong Seasiders fan

Kevin Arnott
Kevin Arnott

A former businessman has died after a brief battle with cancer.

Kevin Arnott was known to many having run various firms in and around Blackpool, including cafes on Dickson Road and Birley Street and the Helmshore Hotel for more than a decade, as well as Wedding World on Central Drive and as co-director of Vacation Travel.

He was known by his shock of white hair – which people used to look for at the football to see where they were sitting

He was born in Falkirk but the family moved to Blackpool with work when Kevin was in his teens, when he met his wife Joan, to whom he was married for 39 years living in Anchorsholme up to his death, aged 61.

They had two children Vickie and David, and Kevin also leaves three granddaughters, Megan, nine, Gabriella, four, and Sophie, three, his mother Helen, 82, sister Maureen and brother Stuart.

Away from his family and businesses, Kevin’s passion was following football, having held season tickets for Blackpool and Fleetwood for many years, as well as Manchester United and Liverpool – even attending four matches in a weekend where the schedule allowed.

Stuart paid tribute to the dedicated family man, who sent his daughter and her children to Florida as part of his ‘bucket list’.

“He booked a holiday for nine of them to go to Florida and forced them to still go, even though he wasn’t well,” Stuart said. “I was saying for months, that the minute they got to Florida he would pass away, and I told him they had safely landed then he went.

“He never smoked or drank but was a very sociable person, and was known by his shock of white hair – which people used to look for at the football to see where they were sitting.”
Kevin was taken ill in late June and had his kidney removed. Stuart said he was making a ‘fantastic recovery’ when a secondary cancer ‘came back with an absolute vengeance’.

He went into hospital in late October and died at Trinity Hospice a month later, but not without some special moments with his family.

Former Blackpool FC midfielder Charlie Adam visited him in hospital.

“We had followed Charlie all his career, and a visit from George Best or Lionel Messi wouldn’t have meant as much to Kevin as Charlie’s visit did,” Stuart said.

In his final weeks, Kevin also missed his son David’s wedding on November 7.

“David and Rachel went to see him after the service and were the talk of the hospital,” Stuart added. “He wanted to go, and I would have carried him there, but he was too ill.”

Stuart’s other brother Malcolm died in September 2014, from pancreatic cancer, aged 57, which was diagnosed just two months earlier.

His funeral takes place at Carleton Crematorium on Monday, at 2.15pm.