Tributes to "brilliant" ex Sheffield Arena boss Rob O'Shea who has died of cancer

Tributes are being paid to the "brilliant" former Sheffield Arena general manager Rob O’Shea who has died after a brave year-long battle with cancer.

Wednesday, 23rd January 2019, 22:52 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd January 2019, 23:03 pm
Rob O'Shea was brilliant, says Head of SIVLive Dominic Stokes

He is credited as the driving force who brought to the venue the first Arctic Monkeys arena show, PULP's final gig, BBC Sport’s Personality of the Year and the International Indian Film Academy Awards.

In 2017 he left to concentrate on his lifetime passion of event promotions with Manifesto Events, a company he started in 2012 with business partner and fellow music fan Stuart Basford.

Rob, far left, with work colleagues

Dad of two Rob leaves a widow, Lisa, daughter Martha and son Milo.

His funeral will be at Hutcliffe Wood Crematorium, Sheffield, on Friday, February 8, at 2pm.

Family have requested no flowers but donations to St Luke’s Hospice, where he was cared for in his final days.

Dominic Stokes, Head of SIVLive which owns and manages the Arena, said: “Rob was a brilliant venue manager and colleague. He was also a true maverick and innovator.

Rob O'Shea

"Above all he was my friend who I had the privilege to know and work with over the past 22 years. It goes without saying he touched so many lives in so many ways and will be missed by so many people”.

On a public Facebook post his widow Lisa, children Martha and Milo, said: "Rob died on Friday and our lives will never be the same."

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Other heartfelt comments followed on Twitter.

Elliot Eastwick‏ @Faycebuk said: "No words this morning. Too too upsetting. RIP Rob O’Shea"

Expletive Undeleted‏ @undeleted added: "So sad to hear about Rob O'Shea. Sweetest man you could ever meet

Rob, who originally hailed from Bolton, moved across the Pennines and settled in the city when he became Sheffield Arena general manager in 2006.

During his tenure the venue reached the Top 10 of the world’s most visited Arena’s and Rob was credited for bringing diverse events and creating The Steel Hall – an intimate reduced capacity entertainments area inside the building.

For more than 22-years in venue management he served Apollo Leisure, Live Nation and Sheffield International Venues - working at Manchester Apollo before moving to Sheffield Arena.