Ricardo Sousa, Bar ‘O Avö’

Popular bar owner passes away

The Diario this morning confirms the sudden death of Ricardo Sousa a well-known bar-owner in Funchal, who I was an acquaintance of mine over many years, and a friend of a number of readers of this blog. The owner of the bar ‘O Avö’, Ricardo Sousa, passed away yesterday.

The Diario describes Ricardo as “Widely praised for the art of hospitality, and an ardent supporter of Sporting and Lazio and of sport in general”. Born in the city of Durban, South Africa, he was the main face of Bar ‘O Avö’, located on Rua da Praia in central Funchal, which famously housed a vast collection of football club scarves – more than two thousand – which would have been greater had the bar not been badly affected by the floods of February 20th 2010.

Ricardo Sousa was also known for offering a meal to anyone who brought a scarf that did not appear in his collection. Respected by many, especially by Sporting fans, Ricardo Sousa is also in Madeira’s memory for a promise he fulfilled along with two other friends, on 18 May 2000, when Sporting became national champions after eighteen yeas. To mark the occasion they fulfilled a long-standing promise, leaving his bar and proceeding to walk barefoot to Terreiro da Luta in Monte.

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17 thoughts on “Ricardo Sousa, Bar ‘O Avö’”

  1. So sad to read this news … Our hearts go out to Fatima and family… We have regarded Ricardo as a friend for many years and always made straight for Bar O Avo as soon as we arrived in Funchal…. Over the years we have had pleasure adding to the Scarf and Beer Bottle Collection.. RIP….

  2. We have just heard the dreadfully sad from a local friend who we introduced to Ricardo.We had introduced many friends to Ricardo’s hospitality and everyone was made welcome. We had some great fun together over the years and we will miss the big man with an even bigger heart. Our deepest condolences to Fatima, to Ricardo’s mother and all who cared for this special man.

  3. We first encountered Ricardo and Bar O Avô on New Year’s day 2000 and have been regulars ever since. He loved Madeira and its customs and traditions. I know that over many years he took a lot of teenagers from broken families and helped keep them out of trouble. He was loved by locals and tourists alike and his passing will leave an unfillable hole.

    Our condolences to his wife, Fatima.

    Rest in peace my friend.

    What a shitty start to 2022 just as we were looking to things getting better.

  4. I only met Ricardo a couple of times but always found him to be the most welcoming host. What a shame Funchal will be poorer without him, a larger than life character.
    Condolences to his family.

  5. I have exchanged a few words with one of Ricardo’s sons-in-law and he tells me that he and his mother, Fatima, hope to re-open the bar after the funeral. They want to keep alive the memories of Ricardo.

  6. A wonderful man who will be sadly missed. So well known, we first heard of his passing from our son in Australia. Always a story to tell, we will miss rolling a bottle of wine when we return in February.
    RIP Ricardo, Dave & Denise

  7. So sorry to hear of the passing of Ricardo. My wife and I met him three years ago when he gave us a meal in exchange for a rare Norwich City scarf. A lovely character, he will be greatly missed by all who know him.

  8. The Sporting Lisbon supporters club in Funchal have erected a banner in Ricardo’s honour across the front of the bar. He was crazy about football and an avid supporter of Sporting Lisbon ⚽️

  9. Evening , those of you who know us will be aware we have holidayed in Funchal, Madeira for the past 30 years. We were truly saddened this past weekend to hear and read of the untimely passing of Ricardo Sousa at the age of 55, owner and front of house of Bar O Avo, which as well as being a great lunch and dinner stop, housed the worlds largest collection of football club scarves. Sadly, during the devasting downtown floods of 2010, Ricardo lost his entire collection of scarves )and nearly his business) but this was quickly built up again to regain the No 1 position over the following years. While I am not an ardent follower of the game it was with pride that we gave Ricardo a Carloway Football Club scarf to add to his collection. While the major clubs were very well represented, Ricardo always stated that the small clubs had the most loyal support from childhood onwards.
    Rest easy Ricardo …………. Calum and Val.

  10. Just read the sad news of Ricardo’s passing, we came across Bar O Avo in April 2019 and Ricardo noticing my Fulham hat showed us the Scarfs, my wife and I returned for Christmas & New Year and I presented Ricardo with a Lewis FC scarf, we are due back this February and we where going to call in to see him and have a meal and the odd glass of vino, will really miss Ricardo he was a one off and top guy. Our thoughts are with Fatima and his whole family at this sad time.

    RIP Ricardo
    Dave & Sandra


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