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Popular night club owner dies aged 89.

Byline: Lisa Hutchinson Reporter

HE was the silverhaired nightclub and racehorse owner who brought bunny girls to Newcastle.

But now Joe Lisle has died aged 89 in hospital with his family by his side.

He was the man of the 60s when clubs were in their heyday and Joe was a well known entrepreneur in the North East. Champagne and parties were his forte as club owners brought in new ideas to make their establishments better than the rest.

Club 69, which was on the city's Westgate Road, was competing against the likes of The Cavendish, La Dolce Vita, The Emerson and Flamingo Club - which should bring back memories for the more mature Geordies.

But it was when flash Joe brought bunny girls to Newcastle and bobtails helped bring him success.

Club 69 was one of the more up-market of the city establishments, offering a Chinese restaurant, top star cabaret, a cocktail bar and high-stake gambling in the form of roulette and card games - while the Bunny Girls were an added bonus.

Dapper Joe named one of his racehorses after his night club and it carried the black and white colours. He would celebrate his wins with bottles of champagne and on one occasion when two of his horses won on the same day, champagne flowed like water at Club 69.

In the late 60s Joe also moved into the boxing scene as he became Tyneside's new boxing supremo.

And the fanatical fight fan promoted shows at Newcastle's New St James Hall with one of the greatest names in local boxing - Joe Shepherd - as his matchmaker He owned Club 69 for seven years and retired to the Isle of Man, buying a couple of farms there and other business interests.

But he kept returning to Newcastle to check on the property he owned in the city and to keep an eye on his racehorses.

In an interview with The Journal in 1971 Joe, aged 43 at the time, said: "It was my ambition to retire when I was 40. I'm 43 and I'm semi-retired. Horse racing is my main hobby now, I'll not be giving that up."

He told how he travelled to mostly France for the horse racing and almost anywhere to see a fight.

"I'm flying to New York to see Cassius Clay fight Frazier", said Joe to the reporter. "Only PS125."

Bob Blenkinsop, 75, of Howdon, North Tyneside, met his bunny girl wife Vicky (nee Hope) at Club 69.

"It was a great club and everyone went to it. It holds a lot of memories. Joe made his money but remained very down to earth, the money never changed him.

"One day two of his horses won and everyone in the club had backed them. Champagne flowed like water that night.

"The club put on entertainers and some became big names. One was Engelbert Humperdinck who became massive about a year later." Bob added: "Joe would drive through town in his Rolls Royce with his private registration JL 69. He was a big character and it's a great shame he's died."

Joe died peacefully on Sunday, July 2, in Nobles Hospital on the Isle of Man with wife Carol and sons Jonathan and Joseph by his side. He also leaves son Steven and daughter Joanne.

His funeral service and cremation was held at Douglas Brough Crematorium yesterday.

Joe made his money but remained very down to earth Bob Blenkinsop


Bob Blenkinsop, 75, of East Howdon, met his wife, who was a bunny girl in Joe Lisle's Club 69

Joe Lisle has died at his home in Isle of Man at the age of 89.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Article Type:Obituary
Date:Jul 15, 2017
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