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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Tributes pour in for well-known Carlisle Utd fan

The death of a devoted Carlisle United fan whose courage in the face of adversity impressed everyone who knew him has triggered a flood of tributes.

Paul Floyd photo
Paul Floyd

Paul Floyd, 49, was known to hundreds of fellow fans for his lively online banter about the team he loved.

But what many did not know was that the former chef battled for more than 15 years against chronic health problems – including diabetes and kidney problems that resulted in him having two transplants.

Paul, from Corby Hill, died at The Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle last Friday.

Following the tragedy, his family spoke of his abiding resilience, optimism and concern for others – despite his serious health problems.

For years, Paul passionately promoted the need for organ donors, aware that he owed his own life to the generosity of two donor families.

Even after surgeons amputated one of his legs below the knee, and the toes of his remaining foot, Paul continued to put other people first, said his brother Ray, 44.

“Paul was president of the Cumbria Kidney Association for quite some time and he always just got on with his life,” said Ray, who lived with his brother.

“He was just a very positive person, who liked a little bit of mischief but always ended up making people laugh.

“Paul was always getting people talking. Three weeks ago, he was in hospital and one of his mates was there in another ward. Every morning, at 9am, Paul would turn up there in his wheelchair, and ask if he wanted anything from the shop.

“He had huge respect for the nurses in the renal unit and the medical staff and they thought the world of him.”

One of five siblings, Paul loved spending time with his nephews and nieces and devoted his energy to supporting his mother Brenda through illness before her death in March last year aged 74.

Ray said: “At times he found it hard, but he was strong and took things in his stride. He’s been battling for 15 years but he never let the things he faced get him down.”

Paul’s brother Les, 40, described him as “heroic”, saying: “He faced so much in his life, but he always picked himself up. He had tremendous strength of character. He was selfless.

“We lost our mum last year and Paul was an extraordinary strength through that, even though his medical issues were becoming more severe.”

In 2003, when he was president of the Cumbria Kidney Patient Association, Paul spoke of his experiences as a transplant patient.

He said: “It’s important that people talk to their families about what they would like when they die. Organ donation is a great thing. It saved my life twice.”

Jacqui Ross, treasurer ofCumbria Kidney Patients Association, also paid tribute, recalling Paul’s passion for his work with the organisation. She said: “He was such an easy person to talk to, and so very positive.”

Paul was also a lifelong Carlisle United fan. Club spokesman Andy Hall said: “I often used to see Paul standing at the bus stop and without fail he would talk to me about the ongoing issues at the club with a very level-headed, calm and passionate approach.

“It was a shock to hear about his death even though he was battling this illness for a while. Our thoughts are with everyone connected with Paul.”

The Carlisle United FC online Forum was yesterday awash with tributes to Paul, whose user name for the site was “Kidneyblue”.

Comments included:

“Paul was a gentleman – and a true Blue, always an optimist.”

“I used to love bumping into Paul in town and having a crack with him.”

“A really decent bloke, and a true Carlisle fan. Brunton Park will be a worse place without him.”

Paul’s family thanked staff at The Cumberland Infirmary who cared for him, particularly Dr Paul Meade, and the nurses on both the Renal Unit and in intensive care.

His funeral service was at Carlisle Crematorium yesterday.

As well as brothers Ray and Les, he leaves his father Peter, 79, brother Stephen, 48, and sister Andrea, 50.

Have your say

Terrible news about Paul, great bloke and great friend when I grew up around Corby hill, had some great times following the blues and a memorable trip to wembley, all my thoughts to Ray, Steve, Andrea and Les. Paul & Brenda R.I.P

Posted by Jamie on 1 August 2014 at 20:48

A lovely fella to get to know through football banter and was aware of the health problems he faced but he always had a smile on his face and had time for everyone for a crack....Really going to miss the jovial Mr Positive v Mr Negative jesting with Paul and good crack on match days at Brunton Park and catching up on away days. A popular lad and a true CUFC diehard fan till the end. Hope you are watching next season from above Paul.
R.I.P. Kidneyblue.

Posted by Mark Thompson on 22 July 2014 at 12:21

View all 11 comments on this article

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