Calls for probe into Cheltenham Festival as landlord dies from virus
Cheltenham landlord, 67, who was pulling pints for masses at horse-racing festival dies from coronavirus after 250,000 were allowed to pack into event despite warnings
- Alexander Grierson, 67, died in hospital after a two-week battle with coronavirus
- ‘Boyzie’ ran the bar at The Beehive pub while the Cheltenham festival was on
- Andrew Parker-Bowles and comedian Lee Mack caught the virus after the races
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
A landlord from Cheltenham who was serving customers during the racing festival has died from coronavirus.
67-year-old Alexander Grierson ran The Beehive and was pulling pints during the Cheltenham Festival across March 10 to 13.
The dad-of-three lived close to the racecourse which saw thousands of visitors for ‘The Greatest Show on Turf.’
He caught coronavirus and died at Cheltenham General Hospital after two weeks.
67-year-old Alexander Grierson (pictured) who ran the bar at The Beehive near to the races died from coronavirus
In a tribute, his family said: ‘He was the only landlord we know who would buy his punters a pint as soon as they came in the pub.
‘His generosity was as big as his heart.
‘Boyzie was loved by so many people, especially his family, and will be missed every single day.’
The race festival was held 10 days before Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the coronavirus lockdown and three days before the government recommended social distancing measures.
The pub is located near to the festival which saw 250,000 people attend. It ran only ten days before the government announced the lockdown
But despite warnings of the potential spread of coronavirus, the government did not ban the event which saw 250,000 people visit.
Now, Professor John Ashton, a former director of public health, has called for a probe into why the races were allowed to go ahead only a few days before the lockdown was imposed.
Celebrities such as Andrew Parker-Bowles, comedian Lee Mack and footballer Charlie Austin who visited the races all came down with the virus.
Postcodes surrounding Cheltenham racecourse have had the highest number of coronavirus hospital admissions after this year’s annual festival went ahead.
The GL52 postcode, which covers the area surrounding the racecourse, reported the highest number of coronavirus-related hospital admissions in Gloucestershire up to April 3
Leaked data to the Local Democracy Reporting Service showed that the GL52 postcode, which covers the area surrounding the racecourse, reported the highest number of coronavirus-related hospital admissions in Gloucestershire up to April 3.
The second highest area for COVID-19 hospital cases is GL51, which includes Cheltenham Spa Railway Station, used by many of the race fans attending the track.
According to Gloucestershire Live, the two postcodes are responsible for a quarter of all COVID-19 admissions in the county – which has the highest reported case of COVID-19 cases in the South West according to Public Health England.
A fundraising page for the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Boyzie’s memory had last night reached £7,500.
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