`

Funeral date announced for well known businessman

Mr Bill Oddie with his daughter Lara
Mr Bill Oddie with his daughter Lara
Share this article

The funeral of well known businessman Mr Bill Oddie will be held on Tuesday, May 8th.

The service will take place at St Peter's Church in Burnley at 1pm.

Hundreds of people are expected to pay their last respects to Bill who was 76 and at the helm of Oddie's, the family run bakery, for 50 years with the last 30 as managing director.

Founded by Bill’s grandfather, William Henry Oddie, the first shop was opened in Colne in 1905. Bill’s father John Dean Oddie, then helped steer the business through the 20th century, with Bill taking charge in 1988 following his father’s death.

Tributes have been flooding in for Bill who was also a talented sportsman in his day with cricket being his main passion.

He turned out for Blackburn Rugby Club, batted for Nelson Cricket Club in the Lancashire League and was a former player, chairman and president with Belvedere and Calder Vale Sports Club.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said he had enjoyed discussing a range of business issues with Bill and his passion for the local area "always shone through."

Mr Stephenson said: "“Bill did so much to keep Oddie’s going through tough times, ensuring its long-term future.

Burnley-born, Bill attended Sunnyside Primary School and Giggleswick Boarding School. And it was at the North Yorkshire college where he developed his great passion for sport.

Current chairman Mr John Sinclair paid tribute to Bill saying: “He was a gentle advisor and mentor and a first class rugby player.

“But he was also a man of great sensitivity with a cracker jack sense of humour.”

A great source of pride for Bill was his workforce and he knew each full time member of staff by name at the company’s 16 shops across the county.

And he credited his staff for helping the business to recover from the recession which Bill described at the time as like "turning a tap off after the crash."

Bill was also grateful to the generations of families who continued to support his business down the years and his motto was "Keep it local, keep it Oddie's and savour the difference."

He was also full of pride when Prince Charles visited the bakery in 2005 to celebrate its 100th anniversary. Bill had always a been a big fan of the late Princess Diana but he admitted that the heir to the throne charmed them all and Bill was proud to show him what Oddie's had achieved in a century.