TRIBUTES have been paid to "a kind and gentle" businessman who has passed away.

Alan Hale, who owned and ran Al's Tackle & Bait in Woolston, died surrounded by his family in the Countess Mountbatten after suffering with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on November 27.

The 60-year-old had spent the last 17 years in charge of the Bridge Road company, which served customers throughout the country in need of specialist fishing equipment.

A former Weston Park Boys student, Mr Hale spent lived in Southampton for all of his life, meeting wife Sally in 1971.

The couple married in 1978 and years later he would go on to the run the successful and popular shop.


Sally told the Daily Echo: "Al started fishing at five years old which meant he had a great wealth of knowledge that he never hesitated to share with his customers, young and old, and his death will be a great loss to them all.

"Als Tackle and Bait will live on through his family and they have vowed to carry on Al's good work."

She added: "He was a nice, generous and honest man and people like him because of that.

"He was always surprised with how the business grew but he always wanted to help the community out.

"He was a good father and would always share advice with people. He was a kind man."


Mr Hale was born in 1958 and during his teenage years lived in Lordswood and Lordshill.

He leaves behind his wife, children Kelly, Lee and Jodie as well as five grandchildren.

Jodie said: "I spent many a Saturday growing up in the shop with my Dad, hearing everyone's fishing stories, listening to Dad give advice and seeing how many people just popped in to say Hi without actually wanting to buy anything.

"He meant so much to me and it's been overwhelming to see how much he meant to everybody else too.

"He was a great man, lovely husband, top Grandfather and the most wonderful dad. I will truly miss him."

To commemorate his life, a funeral will take place on December 21 at 12pm at Southampton Crematorium East Chapel.

Afterwards there will be a wake at the Masonic Hall in Woolston.