Tributes pour in for ‘true gentleman’ and businessman who lost battle with coronavirus

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Hundreds of tributes have poured in for a well-known Sheffield businessman who tragically lost his battle with coronavirus.

Raj Aggarwal passed away on Thursday, April 9, after a short battle with the virus. He was well known in the community for running Spar stores in Hackenthorpe and Wigston.

He was described by those who knew him as ‘permanently smiling’ and willing to go above and beyond to help those less fortunate.

The 51-year-old supported the homeless in South Yorkshire by donating food every single week.

A statement released from Spar said: “We’re saddened to hear that one of our most long standing & experienced retailers Raj Aggarwal has passed away.

“He served the communities of Hackenthorpe and Wigston and was as a true pioneer for the industry.

Raj did his bit to help the homeless

“We send our most sincere condolences to his family and friends.”

Mr Aggarwal helped communities and charities whenever he could and was also said to be a devoted family man.

He ran his Spar stores with his wife Sunita.

The Association of Convenience Stores posted on its website to pay tribute to their friend.

The tribute read: “We were absolutely devastated to hear the news about the passing of Raj Aggarwal.

“Raj was an independent retailer, a fixture at ACS’ and other industry events, a member of our independents board, a great entrepreneur and most importantly a devoted family man.

“The Raj that many of his fellow retailers knew was a permanently smiling and chuckling man who lived life to the full and was always on the hunt for fun and experiences.

“He attended pretty much every event ACS ran, asking mischievous questions of the speakers, challenging all the suppliers for a special deal (always with a wide smile on his face), and leading the late night group going on to the pub or club after the event.

“This is a terrible loss that will be felt personally by many people in our industry, and it should also remind us: there are people putting themselves in harm’s way to help the country through these difficult times, and to lose one of them in Raj is a hard thing to comprehend and accept.

Raj with MP Neil O’Brien

“We will all miss you, Raj.”

Raj also supported the homeless people in South Yorkshire since 2018 donating food every week to help out.

Mark Whitehead, who runs the Homelessness in South Yorkshire Action Page said that he is devastated.

He said: “He started supporting us in September 2018.

“Fresh bread, fresh fruit, milk, juice, ready meals the list is endless. His character was of a loving and caring business and family man.

“Obviously he was a tough boss but very fair for those who I personally know. But no one has a bad word for him.

“Personally I am heartbroken and will continue with the knowledge he is up there looking down on us all.

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