Tributes have been paid to a stalwart of East Renfrewshire’s hospitality industry after he died at the age of 76.

For more than 30 years, Pat Murray loyally served customers at the Uplawmoor Hotel, where he held the post of head waiter.

Pat, who was from Ballingry, in Fife, lived in Barrhead for 25 years before moving to Paisley with his wife Jackie.

Although he officially retired at the age of 65, he continued to help out at the hotel until shortly before the start of the Covid pandemic.

Pat, who had four brothers and sisters, died from kidney cancer on September 18 after collapsing at home.

Jackie revealed that her husband served his apprenticeship at the Caledonian Hotel, in Edinburgh, where he served the likes of Sean Connery when the James Bond actor returned to his home city.

He also waited on other Holyrood stars, such as cowboy singing star Roy Rogers, who famously visited the capital with his horse Trigger.

Pat and Jackie first met while working together at The Green Hotel, in Kinross, Fife, and they got married in Edinburgh in 1979.

He went on to work at the Friarshall Hotel, in Paisley, and the couple moved to Barrhead in the 1980s when Pat took up his post at the Uplawmoor Hotel.

Jackie, 70, said Pat loved his time at the popular East Renfrewshire venue.

She added: “Pat knew when he began working in the restaurant at the Caledonian Hotel that it was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.

“He put his work before anything else. Although he retired at the age of 65, he never really stopped and would go back to the hotel part-time or whenever was needed.

“It has been heartening to hear and read the tributes to him in the last few days. It has made me feel a little bit better.”

James Smith, who bought the Uplawmoor Hotel last year, also paid tribute to Pat.

He said: “A lot of customers and staff would remember Pat. He had such a huge personality and was such a character.

“Pat was of the old school. He taught so many of us in Uplawmoor over the years.

“I think we could all tell you a story or two about Pat. He will be fondly remembered and sadly missed.”

The hotel’s former owners, Stuart and Emma Peacock, said Pat’s skills and attention to detail were “second to none.”

“He was a force to be reckoned with,” they added. “Without doubt, he was instrumental in the achievement of our many awards and accolades over our years at the hotel.

“Pat simply loved people and people loved him.”

A funeral service for Pat will take place in Lochgelly, Fife, on Wednesday, October 5, and he will be laid to rest in nearby Ballingry Cemetery, where his parents are buried.