We are saddened to report the passing of John Fitzgerald, publican of the popular Willow Tree pub in San Antonio. He died aged 67 of respiratory difficulties following a stroke.
John is survived by his 3 children Darren, Dionne and Bradley.
His son Bradley, also a familiar face at the Willow Tree, notified John’s death on facebook.
“It is with a very sad and heavy heart I write this post at 2.20pm on the 13th of April, today my dad John Fitzgerald passed away from respiratory difficulties as a result of a stroke. We are devastated at losing him, as you all know he kept us on our toes. I’m gonna miss you ya old fucker, and am sure there’s plenty of people that will. Take care old ‘un and I’ll see ya when I see ya”
John was was born October 14th 1953. An avid Queens Park Rangers’ fan, he took up trade as a painter and decorator before becoming licensee at the Willow Tree in hayes where he stayed for 17 years.
Moving to Ibiza in 2008 he brought the Willow Tree name with him, setting up shop in the heart of San Antonio opposite David’s Pizzeria. It does not seem anything like 6 years since he returned to the U.K. in 2014.
Adding a personal note, John Fitzgerald was one of the first to welcome me to San Antonio when I moved this side of the island. I formed friendships in his bar that are still strong today, including some of my first West Coast Spanish friends. Marcos, now of the Boulevard, said “He was a true London legend and a beloved and respected man in Ibiza. I’m invaded by memories, what a great person, his family were nice and wonderful people. He had the detail of coming to see me a few months ago. Fuck what an illusion it made me. And what a shame I have now. My boss, my partner, my friend, John Fitzgerald. Rest in Peace.”
John had a very dry sense of humour. Among his regulars were frequent flying tourists, and pre-smartphone workers – that is proper bar hounds that would prop up his bar through summer and winter days. It was one of those bars that offered a home from home, that were once so numerous, but now are few and far between.
A character, a gent, and one of our own.
Rest in Peace