Paul Bloodworth 1949-2012

Paul Bloodworth

Aston University staff mourned the passing away of a loyal and much loved former colleague on Friday 18 May when members of Sport Aston and other colleagues attended the funeral of Paul Bloodworth at Redditch Crematorium.

Paul who was 63 had fought a courageous battle against cancer having being diagnosed in December 2011. He leaves his wife, Yvonne, two daughters Sarah and Lucy and grand-daughter, Olivia.

Paul joined the University as a Sports Assistant in 1974 and retired in December 2008. He spent his entire university career working for what was then the Physical Recreation Department (now Sport Aston) and during  this time he was promoted on a number of occasions, his final post being Facilities Operations Manager. Paul was also Acting Head of Department for two lengthy periods.

Paul loved sport and always said that he was lucky to work at something that was also his hobby. He was a wonderful all round sportsman who played a number of sports at a high standard. He was an apprentice for three seasons at Coventry City and then played semi-professional football in leagues around the West Midlands for many years. He was also a fine Cricketer, an attacking wicket-keeper batsman who thrived on the challenge of standing up to the stumps to the quicker bowlers. Paul also played Squash and Basketball to a high standard and he also became a very proficient golfer.

Paul loved organising student and staff sport and for many years he personally ran and officiated the Hybart Sports Trophy which was an inter-departmental competition for students and staff at Aston. He provided sport for many student sports teams and encouraged students to join external leagues outside the university to gain wider experience.

One of Paul’s  many great achievements in sport came in 1976 when he was coach to the Aston University Football team that won the Universities Athletic Union Championship beating Durham University 2-0 in the final played at Highfield Road. This is the sporting equivalent of Wimbledon winning the FA Cup in 1988. It is a testimony to Paul that many of the players from 1976 (a team’s worth were at his funeral on Friday. One had travelled overnight from America and all lined up at the entrance. Professor Cliff Bailey of LHS commented: “Paul’s role in developing the footballing successes at Aston, especially the 1976 achievement is a great tribute to his commitment and capability. He was highly respected and very much in charge even though he was only a couple of years older than many of the team members themselves. The emails of the past few days are full of such comments as true gent, really genuine person, great guy, plus a postscript that Paul was very much a modest unsung hero of the mission and the spirit of Aston University.”

For the staff of Sport Aston and for me personally, he was simply the best! We will miss him dreadfully.

Words by Mike Kirkman
28 May 2012

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Paul was cheerful, helpful and it was a pleasure to be in his company. I spent many lunch hours playing tennis him. If it rained, no matter how heavy, he would insist we carried on. He would just smile and chatter his way through. Great to be with and a wonderful human being. Cliff Vidgeon15/06/2012 17:07:31
I was lucky enough to have worked with Paul for a few years before he retired. He was a true gentleman. I very much looked up to him as a role model. He loved life and loved sport. After he retired I I played a round of golf with him at his local golf club. I have great memories of that evening which I will keep forever. It’s just so hard and feels so unfair to have to say goodbye to a man like Paul who loved life and had everything to live for. I consider myself lucky to of met such a lovely man.Darren Hale14/06/2012 16:14:28
Paul was a great ambassador for sport and was a real believer in sport for all. His attitude and dedication to sport are an inspiration. He will be missed.Hannah Batchelor30/05/2012 09:47:08
Mike, you have summed up all our feelings here. A gentleman and simply the best.Peter Lambert29/05/2012 10:23:18
I worked with Paul in the Gem and then Woodcock Sports Centre in the 1970's. He was a very good friend as well as a colleague. He was always a perfect gentleman and very loyal friend. I am devastated for his family and for the loss of his friendship.Gina Rigby29/05/2012 10:10:04