POPULAR teaching assistant and former RAF member Paul Green has died suddenly at the age of 52.
Paul was well-known in the Bridlington community through his job at Martongate Primary School and his involvement with the mini-rugby league in the town, and he also chaired both the Mill Lane allotment association and the Friends of Martongate School fund-raising group.
He died after suffering a heart attack at his Marton Road home in the early hours of Sunday January 23 - just two days after celebrating his 52nd birthday with wife Sarah and friends.
Sarah, who teaches PE at Bridlington School, described her husband as a larger than life character who had friends all over the world thanks to his work with the RAF.
“He was known for his jokes and his impressions, he was great at accents and was always making people laugh,” she said.
“He was just like Peter Kay – just a little bit older! When the Friends of Martongate held events he’d be the bingo caller and would have everyone in stitches with his jokes and accents.
“He would do anything for anyone, he was such a great guy.”
Sarah first met Paul when she was 25 and took a job with the Ministry of Defence based in Hong Kong.
She said: “I was so young and it was quite daunting going off to Hong Kong on my own, but it turned out to be the best decision I ever made because that’s where I met Paul.
“I knew straight away that he was the one for me.”
The couple married a year after meeting and lived together on army bases across the world including in Northern Ireland and Cyprus.
They settled in Bridlington, Sarah’s hometown, four years ago with their children, Molly, 9, and Jack, 7, who both attend Martongate Primary School.
Paul was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in 2003 – a condition which causes the heart muscle to be abnormally enlarged – after returning from serving in Afghanistan and the Gulf, but his condition had been improving so his death came as a terrible shock to Sarah and his family.
Sarah said: “When he got back from Afghanistan and the Gulf he was gravely ill and the doctors said that he might need a heart transplant because his heart was functioning at about 50% of what it should.
“But over the years he recovered and it was back up to 90%.
“They had told us that his condition would shorten his life, but we were thinking much longer term, you can’t prepare for something like this.”
Paul is also sadly missed by staff and pupils at Martongate School where he had worked as a teaching assistant for the last four years.
A special assembly was held at the school on Monday last week where pupils were given the news of Paul’s death and headteacher David Carruthers said: “He was well liked and respected by everyone.”
Respects were also paid to Paul at Bridlington’s under 13s rugby match in Driffield on Sunday last week.
The teams held a minute silence in memory of Paul before their game in honour of his contribution to the mini-league in which he helped coach the under 7s team his son Jack played for.
Sadly, Paul had arranged on the Friday before his death to play an even bigger part in coaching and administration of the league in the future.
An RAF air sea rescue Sea King helicopter fly-pass took place at his funeral, which was held at the Priory Church yesterday and was attended by dozens of his former RAF colleagues, many of whom had flown in from all over the world to be at the service.