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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Heartfelt tributes to popular Barrow dad, 29

DOZENS of mourners stood outside as a church was simply not big enough to hold everyone who came to pay their respects to a much-loved young dad.

The funeral of Paul Johnson, of Dover Street, Walney, was held at St Mary’s Church, Walney, yesterday following the 29-year-old’s sudden death on May 6, having taken ill shortly before.

Many of the mourners stood respectfully outside the packed church as the Reverend Andy Batchelor led a touching service, including heartfelt tributes from Mr Johnson’s brother, Mark, and girlfriend Hayley.

A floral football adorned the coffin carrying the Vickerstown FC player and “fervent” match-going Manchester United fan, who was dad to Liam and son to Ian and Denise.

Mr Batchelor said: “Paul was a thoughtful, considerate man with a great sense of humour. He would have a go at anything, including DIY when, like many men, he would only look at the instructions when something went wrong.

“Paul has been described as a lovable, caring person who would do anything for anyone. He would have had his 30th birthday next week and the turnout at this service demonstrates how many people his life has touched.”

The former North Walney and Vickerstown pupil studied engineering at Furness College and, after qualifying, worked with Stately Gates, an ornamental ironsmith company, before becoming a team leader at the shipyard.

Football was described as a big part of Mr Johnson’s life since childhood and he poignantly scored his last goal in a tribute match played in memory of his late clubmate, Dave Forrester, who died aged 44 in March.

Mr Johnson also had an “abiding love of cars, something that young Liam shares”.

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