I first met Paul back in the mid-70s playing football at the wee park near his house. A firm friendship began with football, golf, snooker, tennis and eventually betting being our hobbies.

Paul was a massive Clydebank fan and with me being a Dumbarton fan we had great rivalry between our teams even though Clydebank were the better side for most of our early / teenage years.

One great memory was Paul gloating as Dumbarton were humped 6-0 by Motherwell in the early 80s but then sitting with him at in the Davie Cooper Stand as the Bankies were thrashed 7-1 by the same Motherwell side a month later.

With our love of sport it was no surprise we got involved with betting. I can remember my dad popping into our local bookies and putting our coupons on – win, lose or draw – that was all you could bet on in those days – how things have changed.

Even back then Paul was consistent – bet what you can afford, have a pot purely for your bets and don’t let it take over your life.

Paul went to school in Glasgow and I would quite often bunk off from school and meet him at lunchtime and “persuade” him to join me in some smoky basement snooker hall. Looking back it must have looked very strange to see two wee 14 year olds at the table amongst some of Glasgow’s finest.

Once two heavies at the next table informed us that we were playing them at doubles and Paul came out with the classic “how much for?”

Paul was one of the first in our crowd to pass his driving test and his dad used to let him drive his new Ford Capri. Again, I managed to persuade Paul to let me have a drive and I duly smashed it into a garage.

With some under-age drinking escapades and Paul taking the blame for his mum’s cigarettes going missing, his family were probably quite relieved when I moved to London as he was now cutting his teeth in the newspaper world and dating Linda (who I was at school with).

Paul’s relationship and career went from strength to strength with a wedding to Linda and a dream job at the Daily Record.

When I came up to Scotland for a visit Paul would always make time for a game of golf, or take in a football match and the usual pint or two even though he was leading a very busy life.

I know his regular golf buddies at Largs, Helensburgh, Dalmahoy or his Club, Clober, would say the same, considering how busy he was with his family, work or Mr Fix-its Tips, he never let you down.

Even when my dad was ill 18 months ago, Paul still found time to visit or call him for a chat about the “fitba” – my two best football buddies – both gone in 18 months.

We had many fantastic golf trips to France and Paul would often be working late at night, after a few of his favourite Continental drink – a Ruby Leffe, or first thing in the morning.

Paul fulfilled his ambition to attend a couple of sporting bucket list events – one being a guest in the Paddy Power Tent for the Cheltenham Gold Cup which turned out to be very lucrative and drunken in equal measure.

He also got to go to the Masters with his brother, David, a few years ago. Once home he raved about it to me and we decided to make that our plan for our 60ths.

I did say to him that if we were going, we may as well go to Vegas as well and he agreed to two old pals going to celebrate in style.

As if he wasn’t busy enough, we all knew how fond of the Dug he was. One day he came into my kitchen and put down some Tesco Finest roast beef on the table. I said “I’ll put the kettle on and defrost some rolls” but as I turned round he was feeding the Dug Tesco’s finest. Nothing but the best for Millie.

Paul loved going up the hills near his home with the Dug and football paper for a bit of chilling and studying form. The Dug was with him and his son last time we caught up.

I went to meet him at his new caravan at the borders. After playing nine holes of golf we went for lunch, where before
entering the café, we both stopped and put on our respective face masks – Paul with his Clydebank one and me with my Dumbarton one, and got a look from his son that only a teenager could give you and I am sure he muttered under his breath “what a pair of numpties”.

A good lunch was had, another nine holes of golf played and then a well deserved pint.

Our last day was spent doing what we had done for years – chatting about football and our teams, a game of golf, a bite to eat and a pint. A happy day and sadly our last as yesterday I said farewell to
Paul.

Gone too soon – rest in peace.

Desmond

29 Comments
  1. sasaharv62 4 weeks ago

    Beautifuly wrote,brought goosebumps.For Pauls Family & Dearest Friends,my heart goes out to you all.

    16
  2. chelseagirl 4 weeks ago

    Sounds as tho you 2 very very good pals and had a ball. Great story.

    9
  3. radu 4 weeks ago

    👏👏👏🎩

    3
  4. haruni 4 weeks ago

    Excellent life lived by Paul and nice tribute from a great friend my he rest in eternal peace and he will surely never be forgotten.

    6
  5. earl 4 weeks ago

    I’m sorry for your loss. You were lucky to have had such a good pal.

    4
  6. bertie 4 weeks ago

    Great write up Desmond sounds like you and paul had many wonderful times and memories that can never be taken away lovely tribute

    3
  7. oneoff 4 weeks ago

    Thanks Desmond for sharing some stories of you and your mate paul.
    Lovely words and fine tribute to Mr F

    2
  8. HullShaker 4 weeks ago

    Can feel the emotion as I read this Desmond – a lovely description of a life lived to the full but sadly lost to early.

    Time is a great healer and although it never entirely fills the void left, it does offer the best of memories…cherish them as I’m sure Paul will have cherished the friendship you had together.

    💙

    7
  9. mquigley856@gmail.com 4 weeks ago

    Nice words Desmond. Those lovely memories will stay with you forever. I’m sure you will meet your lifelong friend again. But for now stay strong.

    1
  10. Love 4 weeks ago

    Thank you Desmond for sharing those moments
    It was beautiful.
    In the end all we have are memories .
    Stay strong mr fixits nearest and dearest.
    🙏🙏🙏🙏

    1
  11. ianlinds03 4 weeks ago

    A fantastic read Desmond thank you for writing this piece. Its just so sad life can really be cruel at times.

    2
  12. elvis parsley 4 weeks ago

    God bless 💟

    2
  13. jim burnside 4 weeks ago

    Cracking stories Desmond about a brilliant man I’m sure Ur absolutely devastated at losing such a wonderful friend pal. I hope yourself and his many friends but mostly his wife a kids and wee dug find strength and depth with some wonderful post on here to get through such an emotional time of year Xmas and new year knowing there thousands out here thinking of them daily through this sad time.

    1
  14. Rash The Bash 4 weeks ago

    Great words Desmond, you were privileged to have a true friend like him. Even after smashing his dad’s car!

    2
  15. adam c 4 weeks ago

    Lovely words Desmond, some great stories too. Great memories that nobody can take away. Take care.

    1
  16. slim 4 weeks ago

    Thanks for sharing Desmond, really nice read.

    1
  17. frastar 4 weeks ago

    You only get a handful of real friends in life. I am so sorry Paul is gone too soon.

    Sounds like you had a great time together. Lovely stories. He will be missed.

    1
  18. dannydolly 4 weeks ago

    You guys had a great time since you were teenager but, God knows the best. So sad he left too soon. Rest in peace Paul aka Mr F

    1
  19. Asto85 4 weeks ago

    Nice sentiments Desmond, it’s said it’s harder for those that are left.Time will do its work. Kindest regards to you and Paul’s family.

    1
  20. KevinMac 4 weeks ago

    Lovely tribute, Desmond. Was great to hear about Paul’s younger years

  21. Bassolle 4 weeks ago

    Great words from you Desmond. I can only imagine the emotions you are experiencing at the moment.

  22. alex. walker 4 weeks ago

    You both had some great times by the sounds of it. RIP PAUL.

    1
  23. Jointhedots 4 weeks ago

    Truly heartwarming words and personal life stories Desmond shared and felt by yourself and others who didn’t even get to meet him.

    I hope there’s a wee bookies upstairs for Paul as a reward for his dedication to life and putting others first.

    Peace….

    1
  24. lifebhoy 4 weeks ago

    I had the privilege of meeting Paul (who introduced you to me} at Hamilton Park Racecourse im June 2018
    A memory ishall always treasure.

    1
  25. lifebhoy 4 weeks ago

    Lovely insight about your memories of Paull.
    I had the privilege of meeting Paul (who introduced you to me} at Hamilton Park Racecourse in June 2018
    A memory i shall always treasure.

    1
  26. GregBrowning 4 weeks ago

    Brought a big grin to my face reading that Alan, (and a tear). hope you’re well mate looking forward to catching up with you for a beer or two next year, and hearing some more of your stories ❤️

    1
  27. davc 4 weeks ago

    Thank you Desmond for bringing Paul to life for me. I regrettably never knew him personally, he was still an almost daily point of contact. And thank you also for the photos. Did he sink that putt?

  28. desmond 3 weeks ago

    Gents, Thanks for your comments. Much appreciated. Have a great Christmas. Cheers, Desmond

    1
  29. Jakarariw 3 weeks ago

    Well written what a glowingt tribute… sorry about your loss
    You just lost a friend and a brother

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