Southport bar owner John Sinclair with wife Melanie (Image: Liverpool Echo)

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An “inspirational” dad-of-five died in hospital after promising his family he would be back home soon.

Southport bar owner John Sinclair, 63, ran a venue themed around TV show Peaky Blinders.

He decided to set it up after undergoing a liver transplant and making a career change.

Before opening his first hospitality venture in 2015 he had worked as a carpet fitter and ran a flooring business with his family.

In May last year, doctors told John he had abscesses on his liver and would require another transplant, which he had in November 2020, the Liverpool Echo reports.

Tributes have been paid to the popular 63-year-old
(Image: Liverpool Echo)

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Following his surgery, John was still recovering in a  hospital  in London over  Christmas  but was given the good news that he would be allowed home before the new year.

John’s wife Melanie told the ECHO: “The surgeon rang me on Boxing Night and John was with him.

“He had just watched the  Everton  game as he was a firm Everton supporter.

“They said he was doing really well and that he was coming home on a Tuesday.

“Then just after midnight they rang to say he'd just passed away.”

John's heartbroken family have spoken of their grief
(Image: Liverpool Echo)

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Doctors told the family that John had died during the night from a pulmonary embolism following his surgery a month earlier.

The shocking news “devastated” Melanie and the rest of the family, who were preparing to welcome John home.

His eldest daughter, Carley, said: “He was a big public figure my dad, he inspired a lot of people.

“He built the businesses from nothing after his first liver transplant. That spurred him on to build all his businesses.

John set up his first hospitality venue after undergoing a liver transplant
(Image: Liverpool Echo)

“He leaves a legacy and he worked so hard for his family.”

John’s eldest son, Joseph, who has followed in his dad’s footsteps becoming a carpet fitter, said people have approached him to offer their condolences and share their memories with him.

He said: “A lot of people have come up and said your old fella helped me out, and set me on my way in life.

“And these are people we don't know well but that's just what he’d done. But he wouldn't tell you he'd done it.”

John leaves behind wife Melanie, 53, and children Carley, 40, Joseph, 38, John Paul, 33, Fay, 33, Lucy, 26, and granddaughter Lily May, nine.

The family have set up a Justgiving page to raise money for the British Liver Trust, a charity close to John’s heart.

You can donate to the fundraising page created in memory of John Sinclair  here   .