Tributes have been pouring in for the legendary Pembrokeshire shoe repairer and entertainer known far and wide as Dai the Boot, who has died at the age of 84.

If anyone in Tenby needed their shoes repaired, their first port of call would be Dai the Boot’s chaotic little shop in the town’s historic market, where Dai – full name David Thomas – would repair shoes and boots with a smile, a joke and an unfailing helping of good humour.

Whether the repair would be completed that day, that week or the next month (or year) was never guaranteed, but that was just how ‘Boot’ worked and his customers loved him all the more for it.

“He was a hell of a boy,” said town mayor Sam Skyrme-Blackhall.

Hundreds of friends and acquaintances have been posting messages and memories of Dai, following his death on Monday May 8.

His funeral will take place on Monday May 30, when a service at St Mary's Church, Tenby will be followed by cremation at Parc Gwyn at 12.15pm.

"A true gentleman and a character," said one person, and another commented: "I will remember him with a smile, because that’s what he gave to so many".

Although Dai had made his home in Tenby, he was originally from Carew, where Carew Sports Club said that the community was "sad to hear the news of the passing of another Carew legend.

"A Carew boy, who grew up in the village. A man who everyone loved to see coming, a smile, a joke and just good nonsense!

"Our thoughts are with this family at this sad time.

"RIP Dai, thanks for the memories & for making us smile."

Dai was well-known as an entertainer and singer. His persuasive auctioning skills at the annual Terry Herman bass fishing contest helped to raise thousands of pounds for charity, with one  featured on the Tenby 214/7 television programme.


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Cllr Skyrme-Blackhall posted her personal tribute to 'the legend that was David Thomas, aka Dai the Boot' ' on the Tenby Together Facebook group.

She said: 

"For all those who knew Boot would agree he could always be seen in his shop in the market under piles of shoes, telling a joke, enjoying the banter...but always with the promise that "the shoes will be ready tomorrow."

"Quite simply he was a hell of a boy!

"But then there was his singing talent. Unfortunately I never saw him performing down the Sands, but he did tell me many stories years ago. I was lucky enough to sing with Brian, Rob and Dai and their band Sounds 3 in the late eighties.

"He was the master of holding an audience..with a joke in-between and also teaching me his own lyrics for he couldn't always remember the original words!

"Many in later years will remember his auctioning skills doing the Terry Herman's bass catchers competitions and what he did bestn finishing with a song or three.

"You will be missed by everyone but never forgotten Boot.

"Rest well Wild Rover- they don't make them like you anymore.

"Our thoughts are with Paul, Neil, Claire,Julia and the family."