Tributes paid to 'store legend' of M&S Falkirk Foodhall following sudden death

Tributes have been paid to an M&S Falkirk “store legend” whose sudden death has stunned the town.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 9:51 am
Updated Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 7:50 pm

John McAleer, 53, was well-known to shoppers and colleagues as a larger than life character who always had a smile on his face.

John is thought to have taken ill suddenly on Wednesday and died a short time later, leaving behind wife Lesley and son Adam, 14.

Latterly “the face” of the M&S Foodhall in Central Retail Park, he also held positions in Falkirk’s former M&S High Street store and Sleeves Records in Cow Wynd.

Ex-M&S Falkirk employee John McAleer was a popular figure among staff and shoppers.

M&S has set up a book of condolences so family and friends and staff and customers can pay their respects.

Brian Torley, M&S Falkirk store manager, said: “John was a one-off employee and, in everyone’s eyes, the face of M&S Falkirk.

“Smiling, cheery and welcoming, he knew every customer by name and they knew John. We are heartbroken at the store and we know John is irreplaceable as a friend and colleague.

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A book of condolences has been set up in M&S Foodhall for former employee John McAleer. Picture: Michael Gillen.

“I am overwhelmed by the extent of respect and grieving we have seen, but not surprised as he was loved by all of us in Falkirk and the community. John was truly a store legend.”

Lauren Brown, owner of Falkirk business Sisters Boutique, wrote on Facebook of the “utterly devastating news regarding a guy who I called Mr Falkirk”.

She added: “A nicer guy you couldn’t meet.

“John is well known as the cheery face at the door keeping everybody safe and knowing most customers by their name.

“A genuinely lovey guy who has left behind a much-loved wife and son he talked to me about often.

“John also worked as a sales rep out on the road for years but we all knew him as the happy, cheeky guy at M&S always full of the chat and an absolute pleasure to know.

“I couldn’t let John’s passing go without a tribute to the wonderful customer service he has given to the Falkirk Bairns for all these years and I for one am genuinely gutted to have lost this gentleman from our town.

“Rest in peace, John.”

A JustGiving page has been set up to support John’s family.

Click here to donate.

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