A LOCAL businessman and entrepreneur whose hard work led to the creation of the popular Tony's Fish and Chip Shops across the Isle of Wight has died.

Anthony George Oatley, known as Tony, was 81.

He was born in Gravel Pit Road, Wootton, to Donald and Lillian Oatley, the second of three children, with an older brother Derek and younger sister Doreen.

He went to Priory Boys' School in Newport, but at 14 had no choice but to work to bring in an income for the family.

His first job was working for Colonel Spencer in Spencer’s Inn, Ryde, where he learnt about the catering industry and business ethics from Colonel Spencer, who took Tony under his wing.

He moved to to become assistant manager of Hotel Ryde Castle and later resident general manager, which gave him a desire to own his own business.

Ryde Castle was sold and Tony went back to Spencer's Inn as general manager under new ownership.

It was there he met his future wife Ania.

After their wedding, they noticed three fish and chip shops had recently closed. They felt there was a gap in the market and a good demand, so they set up their first Tony's Fish and Chip Shop at 50 High Street, Ryde.

Over the next 24 years,the business expanded to three restaurants and five takeaways, including Newport's St Thomas's Square.

Isle of Wight County Press: Tony Oatley often advertised his fish and chip shop business in the County Press.

As a child, Tony loved sport but sadly, due to finances, he wasn’t able to play much.

He loved football and cricket and enjoyed supporting youth development, sponsoring East Cowes Vics Football Club and Wootton Youth Football Club.

In later years he was a great supporter of Ryde Cricket Club, where he enjoyed cheering on son Mark and grandson Preston.

Tony enjoyed 22 years of retirement with Ania and spent lots of time with his family.

Isle of Wight County Press: Tony Oatley and wife Ania.Tony Oatley and wife Ania.

He visited countries he could never do while working, and was a keen gardener.

He often gave business advice to people and enjoyed chatting with locals in Ryde.

He leaves behind his wife Ania, daughter Eva, son Mark and grandchildren Tiana, Preston and Kylie.

A funeral service will be held at All Saints Church, Ryde, on Thursday, June 23, at 12 noon.