FOR MANY years the name Savva’s became synonymous with big nights out in this corner of Wales.

And that was a direct result of the drive and passion of George Savva who must have ranked among Gwent’s best known entrepreneurs.

Mr Savva, who died aged 72, reigned at the club, on the outskirts of Usk, in an era when relatively small venues such as Savva’s, formerly the Stardust, were the go-to place to see big name stars of music and comedy.

The likes of Sir Cliff Richard, Lenny Henry, Frankie Vaughan and Michael Barrymore all played there, often raising thousands of pounds for charity along the way.

It is an era which has long since gone.

The very idea of a comedian selling out arena-sized venues was unthinkable then.

George and his wife Pamela became firm friends with many of the stars they hosted at their club, testament to their loyalty and discretion and that is perhaps part of why they were such a success.

The hundreds who turned out to Mr Savva’s funeral yesterday, including Iris Williams, Owen Money and Bryn Yemm, would no doubt agree.

He was a larger than life character , an entrepreneur who went on to run restaurants and a hotel in the part of Wales he loved so much. He was also a great supporter of many charities helping to raise thousands of pounds over many years.