Tributes to Bill O’Hagan founder of sausage empire

Bill O'Hagan with his bangers and mash.
Bill O'Hagan with his bangers and mash.

“HIS whole life was about having fun and he enjoyed life.”

Those were the words of Bill O’Hagan’s son Liam, in tribute to a family man who changed the sausage industry and became part of the fabric of Chichester.

Sausage-maker Bill O’Hagan made a lot of friends in his 68 years.

Since his death on Wednesday, May 15, tributes have flooded in to the Observer.

Former journalist turned sausage producer Bill turned his hobby into a successful and well-known family business.

He moved to the UK from South Africa in 1970, and was appalled by the quality of sausages in the country.

When his colleagues at the Daily Telegraph tasted the sausages he started making himself they said he should turn it into a business.

The opening of his shop in Greenwich in 1988 took London by storm, and soon many others followed in his footsteps, opening sausage shops all over the country.

“He changed the British sausage industry,” said Liam.

“He was a man of principle, and he never made loads of money but was passionate about making them properly.”

Liam said his father never sold out to the supermarkets, although he was approached.

But eventually, Bill, his wife Bronwyn and son Liam decided to move to the south coast for a slower pace of life.

The O’Hagan shop can be found in The Woolpack Inn, Fishbourne, and the business supplies many pubs and restaurants all around the country.

Bill didn’t just work hard, however, he was also known for having an enormous sense of fun.

Gareth Webb, president of Chichester Rugby Football Club, said: “Bill was the most incredible character and his cries of ‘more beer Chichester’ will ring forever more in the Chichester RFC clubhouse. We will miss you and Chichester Rugby Club salutes you.”

Liam, who has taken over the firm, said: “He will be massively missed, and he will always be remembered with a smile.”