Tributes have been pouring in for Chris Stops, the managing director of a leading regional estate agency, after it was announced that he had died following a short battle with cancer.
The 57-year-old had run Heywoods Estate Agency in Newcastle-under-Lyme for 30 years and has been described as a ‘brilliant businessman’ by his partner Janine, whom he married just three week before he died on June 5th. She is also a director of the company.
Stops acquired Heywoods in 1991 from his father and on the company’s website described himself as a ‘local lad’ who when not working at the agency helped run the family’s livestock farm.
He was also a local celebrity and was often heard and seen commentating on the housing market on local BBC radio and TV stations.
Heywoods is well-known brand in the region and its patch includes Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stoke-on-Trent and across North Staffordshire, South Cheshire and the Shropshire borders and has over a dozen staff.
Stops began feeling unwell as the beginning of lockdown and, after visiting his doctor, a scan revealed pancreatic cancer which had spread to his liver and which was inoperable and incurable.
“Chris was a very well-known and well-liked figure in the region’s property industry,” a Heywoods company spokesperson told local media.
“He was a very astute businessman and had a number of business interests alongside the estate agency which was his life-long passion.
“Under Chris’ tenure, he helped thousands of people to buy and sell their homes in North Staffordshire; and this year marks three decades since he took over Heywoods. Plans were underway for a celebration to mark the occasion.”