HEARTFELT tributes were today paid to a Blackpool hotelier who has lost his battle with cancer.
Family and friends of charity champion Eric Slack, 81, today described him as a ‘great member of the Blackpool community’ and a ‘character who will be sadly missed’.
The father-of-three and former owner of The Viking hotel on South Promenade, died at his home on Elmsley Gardens, Blackpool on Monday.
He had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in June and had recently undergone surgery.
His wife, Ann-Marie said he was one of the most amazing men she had ever known.
She said: “Over the years he has done tons of work for charity.
“Everyone who knew him said it was a privilege to have met him and he has left a lot of broken hearts.
“He was an amazing husband, we had some great, great times and he will be sadly missed.”
Comedian and friend, Frank Carson, who is fighting his own battle with cancer, said: “It is a great pity one of our leading entertainers has passed away.
“Eric will be sadly missed as the man who started in the Viking and brought many happy hours of entertainment.
“I worked with him myself on many occasions. He had a great sense of humour and it is not so long ago he was wishing me well, sending messages of support.”
Close friend Bobby Ball, said: “He was a friend of mine, he was very, very kind, a true gentleman, I will miss him very much.
“He loved Blackpool, he used to talk about it a lot when we went out.
“He was one of the greatest men I have ever met.
“He loved life but more than that he loved people and everything he did.”
Compere Jack Diamond, who worked with Eric for several years, said: “I have vivid memories of his escapades and am very saddened to hear of his death, my wife Marie and I will always remember him fondly.”
Entertainer Tony-Jo described him as a ‘great friend’.
He said; “He was a great member of the Blackpool community and a massive member of the show business circuit.
“Of course we all knew he was ill but you hope for a miracle.
“Eric invented cabaret in Blackpool many years ago, he had the artists bar where we all used to meet.
“He was a Blackpool grafter with a huge heart, he will be sorely missed.”
A funeral date has not yet been set.