THE family of a popular barber who owned four Barry shops have paid tribute to him following his death, aged 55.

Family, friends, residents and customers described Anastasis Asprou, known as Stass, as a “true gentleman” and a “genuinely lovely man” who would be missed throughout the town’s community. Mr Asprou was diagnosed with the rare heart condition amyloidosis, and died suddenly at his home on Saturday, January 6.

He was born on January 3, 1963, to parents John and Georgina Asprou. He was well known and respected in Barry town as the owner of the Asprou barber shops at Regent Street, Broad Street, Market Street and Park Crescent.

His son Yiannie Asprou, speaking also on behalf of his brother Harry, said: “Wherever he was trading, Stass attracted a large following of loyal customers. These regular customers appreciated Stass’s expertise as a barber.

“But they also appreciated the time spent in the company of such a friendly, thoughtful and gentle man.”

Besides his expertise with a scissors and comb, as a young boy Mr Asprou discovered an enduring love for music and he became one of the best bouzouki players in the UK. He also loved cars and was a skilled mechanic, restoring several classic cars.

He had a curious mind and enjoyed talking with people from all walks of life, on a wide range of subjects.

Yiannie said “During a trim, you could talk to Stass about the weather, holidays, music, politics or philosophy. Stass made many friends, and was liked and appreciated by many hundreds of Barrians.”

Mr Asprou began his barbering career at 64 Holton Road, he was taught the skills of the trade by his father, John Asprou who was a master barber and in 1959 won the Welsh men’s hairdressing title.

The Asprou barbering tradition stretches back to the 1940s, when John’s uncle Chris opened his barbershop in Caroline street, Cardiff.

Stass himself trained five successful barbers – Steve, Dean, George and his two sons Yiannie and Harry – who all own thriving barber shops across Barry and Rhoose.

Yiannie added: “Stass will be sadly missed by all his family, friends and by hundreds of customers across Barry.”

Mr Asprou talks about his time as a barber in a film by Robert Lee Jenkins on Youtube called Stass Asprou Says Goodbye. The film shows footage of Mr Asprou saying goodbye to his former premises in Holton Road prior to his move to the Park Crescent, Barry, premises.

He said of his time at the barbers in Holton Road: “It’s been good fun.”