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Just merging the two topics we have. Below is the opening post for the now closed thread

That is very sad news. I used to travel on Paul's coaches in the eighties, when i first started going away as a 14 year old. He was Rovers mad and a true fan. Despite not knowing him other then being 'Paul' the bloke that sorted the travel out. He always found time to chat and say hello.

My abiding memory of him was letting me and two mates jump on a coach back from Everton after my mates car broke down. No questions asked, always so accommodating.

RIP Paul.

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The LT article is a lovely tribute to him. I can't help thinking that, for the way he gave his life to BRFC, he deserves more. Maybe a simple plaque at Ewood Park.

A plaque is a great idea, fans of his calibre should never be forgotten.

All we need now is someone to contact the club and organise it, maybe the Reps of the fans forum could start the ball rolling.

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Just merging the two topics we have. Below is the opening post for the now closed thread

Didn't know the man personally but he was a face you always recognised on the away travel coaches back in the day....never missed a game in 40 years nearly.

R.I.P fellow blue.

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For those who asked and wish to attend.

From a post on RM by Barry, Pauls close friend.

"Pauls funeral is Tues 26th at Pleasington 2-30" His Auntie (only family member) "She would like blue and white flowers or a donation to any charity of your choice."

Edited by 67splitscreen
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I think that would be the Black Bull from memory.

A few years ago, my wife and I went on a sentimental reccy into Stafford to see if we could recreate the pub-crawl route we used to traipse round the town on and while there were a few boozers/bars gone and parts of the town centre had altered somewhat unrecognisably, the "Malt & Hops" which was first stop from the coach park was still there. A great little real ale pub just further across and along sadly wasn't, the landlord there always asked how Jim Arnold had kept goal!

Some lovely tributes to Paul on the forums. As I suspected, practically everyone knew him and had a tale to tell.

Im 1980, he was personally responsible for my future wife Lesley, just 16 at the time, and her mate Andrea getting a lift back from Upton Park on Rovers' team bus.

The coach we went on had broken down about a mile from West Ham's ground and after making our way sheepishly to the game on buses, colours well hidden and traps generally kept shut, everyone gathered at the appointed place after the match to learn that our bus was still knackered and no replacement found.

The local plod led us to some safe haven, some yard straight out of a Minder set, reassuringly telling us that if we didn't get out of the East End sharpish, we may come to a grisly end. Paul somehow - this is all before cellphones remember - got the bobbies to stop the departing team bus, suggesting to Howard Kendall that he might like to take sympathy and transport some of the team's stranded and scared devotees home.

Howard took one look at us, a generally smelly, beery, yobbish looking ensemble and probably quite wisely said: "We'll take the lasses and small kids - the rest better sort themselves out."

Lesley, Andrea and two young boys were allowed on under strict instruction not to approach the players, which presumably robbed Paul Comstive of the one chance of any adulation he was ever likely to experience, but they were treated to fish n'chips this being before the era of sports nutritionists.

Lesley's abiding memory is her disappointment at how little the players seemed disappointed after losing 2-0 to the Hammers! It would have cost her every penny of her weekly allowance every week to go to the games so I think she expected hairshirts all round.

The rest of us eventually got back in a couple of minibuses Paul conjured up, with, of course, the obligatory couple of hours hitting the pubs of Stafford.

We drank a farewell toast to Paul last night.

I'm not sure the amount of wine Lesley and I drank in his memory, reminiscing about old times, did either of us much long-term good, but Paul's sudden loss is a sharp reminder that every single day you can wake up and greet your loved ones is to be treasured.

One of the very few other girls - this was 1979-82 there were actually no female toilets on some away ends - who used to travel away on those Accy Branch coaches, Josie (she was Bev Whalley's, sister of Eric's, best mate) fell some years ago with breast cancer.

I remember a lot of the guys off those coaches - Buzz, Dave Hickey, Gordon Jarrett, Trev Whiteside, Dave Horne, Theo Walsh, Peter Webb, Spraggy, Dave Kay and Albert, Ronnie Jarrett, Bernard Wolstenholme - I wonder if they're all still with us? On the slightest chance any of you see this, great days, eh? Well apart from the defeats, obviously.

Actually, they were great days too, we just didn't realise at the time.

Let's hope the boys, probably none of whom knew Paul that well these days, can mark his passing with what he would most have wanted tomorrow, three points towards Rovers' continued well-being.

Great days indeed Jim,in fact the friendships formed on those trips still live on today,Myself Dave Hickey,Dave Kay & Spraggy still sit together on the BBE,Albert I still see regularly also as well as others you may have forgotton such as Dilly,Ozzy,Howard,Bob(fat)Tormay,Rick Woodhouse(trougher).I believe Dave Horne is now a Spurs fan,no idea why but he has been for some time.

Good to hear that you & Leslie tied the knot,she's a smashing girl,I hope she can forgive us for our behaviour on those coaches and has not suffered any lasting damage :unsure:

As well as the legendary coach trips we all went on,what about the football matches we used to play in the Anglo Welsh league back in those days,and the European supporters cup we played in with Chelsea as we shared a coach to Holland with them,in fact if anybody couldn't get a footie team together we would play them at anything,I remember trouncing Palace at Table Tennis & Darts and Rotherham at snooker etc,Paul was the guy that made it all possible and didn't get the credit he deserved for building those ties with other clubs in an era when everybody else was kicking each others heads in!!

I feel priviledged to have known Paul and been part of those special times

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I believe Dave Horne is now a Spurs fan,no idea why but he has been for some time.

Gordons lad? never knew he had been anything other than a spurs fan.You learn somethingf every day ,if its the same one.

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My mum and dad were great friends with Paul and his family and I always used to visit him when in Tenerife over summer in his PA Travel offices over there.

A great man and a great Rover.

RIP and condolences to his family and close friends x

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Transferring allegiance to a London team, and not a particularly succesful one, baffled me at the time (1980 or so) when the hitherto loyal Rover Dave (son of Gordon indeed) changed colours and has made no more sense to me down the intervening years. Good bowler for Church though and fine cricket tour companion.

I remember once seeing a bloke I knew as a Rugby man with his sons at Ewood and he said he brought them to follow their home town team "out of a sense of civic pride and duty" which made a whole lot more sense to me.

Thank you for your message, Roverbiff, Lesley and I loved hearing from you, apologies for incorrectly referring to you as "Buzz" in an earlier post/senior moment.

I'm unable to attend Paul's funeral as it is first day back on school duties after the Easter break and I will have no time to sort cover out but Lesley has requested time off to go along.

I'm afraid my own footballing abilities and lack of fitness even in younger days meant that selection for even a team of travelling Rovers ale-pots was out of the question but you are right, Paul did some pionneering bridge-building in an era when you were often in mortal peril if identified as being among the travelling support.

One of my favourite Paul stories, and I'm sure he wouldn't mind me telling this, came from equally obsessive Rovers traveller John Pittard after a Swedish tour in pre-season in, I am guessing, the Don McKay era.

Rovers played a few fixtures in godforsaken corners of Sweden in a matter of days, criss-crossing the frozen wastes or whatever, and while John and his Mrs, whom he had somehow tricked into going along on the basis that they were to explore the lakeland scenery,summer forests and pretty cities, at least got their heads down in a hotel or two, Paul's tour involved putting a tent up wherever possible after the long, interminable journeys between games.

Sweden is not, or certainly wasn't then, a nation blessed with licenced premises every hundred yards or so and the availability of some alcoholic comfort to assuage the traumas of the road was virtually non=existent.

At one point, however, our merry band of troubadors chanced upon what they took to be a Swedish supermarket in the midddle of nowhere and having studied the literature festooned around, they queued for many a while until finally, with some joy, purchasing what they had gathered to be a large, voluminous box of wine with which to toast their endeavours and celebrate the Nordic nightfall.

On closer inspection back at base camp however, further disappointment and frustration prevailed on dismantling the packaging as what they had in fact purchased was not wine ready for quaffing, but some elaborate Swedish wine-making kit which product required some weeks and months to produce anything drinkable!

Edited by meadows
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Transferring allegiance to a London team, and not a particularly succesful one, baffled me at the time (1980 or so) when the hitherto loyal Rover Dave (son of Gordon indeed) changed colours and has made no more sense to me down the intervening years. Good bowler for Church though and fine cricket tour companion.

I remember once seeing a bloke I knew as a Rugby man with his sons at Ewood and he said he brought them to follow their home town team "out of a sense of civic pride and duty" which made a whole lot more sense to me.

Thank you for your message, Roverbiff, Lesley and I loved hearing from you, apologies for incorrectly referring to you as "Buzz" in an earlier post/senior moment.

I'm unable to attend Paul's funeral as it is first day back on school duties after the Easter break and I will have no time to sort cover out but Lesley has requested time off to go along.

I'm afraid my own footballing abilities and lack of fitness even in younger days meant that selection for even a team of travelling Rovers ale-pots was out of the question but you are right, Paul did some pionneering bridge-building in an era when you were often in mortal peril if identified as being among the travelling support.

One of my favourite Paul stories, and I'm sure he wouldn't mind me telling this, came from equally obsessive Rovers traveller John Pittard after a Swedish tour in pre-season in, I am guessing, the Don McKay era.

Rovers played a few fixtures in godforsaken corners of Sweden in a matter of days, criss-crossing the frozen wastes or whatever, and while John and his Mrs, whom he had somehow tricked into going along on the basis that they were to explore the lakeland scenery,summer forests and pretty cities, at least got their heads down in a hotel or two, Paul's tour involved putting a tent up wherever possible after the long, interminable journeys between games.

Sweden is not, or certainly wasn't then, a nation blessed with licenced premises every hundred yards or so and the availability of some alcoholic comfort to assuage the traumas of the road was virtually non=existent.

At one point, however, our merry band of troubadors chanced upon what they took to be a Swedish supermarket in the midddle of nowhere and having studied the literature festooned around, they queued for many a while until finally, with some joy, purchasing what they had gathered to be a large, voluminous box of wine with which to toast their endeavours and celebrate the Nordic nightfall.

On closer inspection back at base camp however, further disappointment and frustration prevailed on dismantling the packaging as what they had in fact purchased was not wine ready for quaffing, but some elaborate Swedish wine-making kit which product required some weeks and months to produce anything drinkable!

I did wonder about whether I was Buzz or not but believe me I have been called a lot worse down the years and I suppose I always had a 'Buzz' on after Stafford so you are forgiven your senior moment.

One of Pauls more senior moments was when he enrolled the team as Blackburn Rovers Supporters Club in the Burnley Sunday League

as Blackburns was full,we used to kick off at 2:00pm playing in Blue & White Halves when the pubs were just closing,man did we get some big crowds :D Funnily enough every team we played was in Claret & Blue,I think they passed the one kit they had around the league when each team was due to play us.

I used to dread the ball going out of play and taking a throw in,I can still feel the gob on my back!!!

We won the sportmanship trophy that year and had to collect it at the Kierby Hotel,the noise that went up when our name was read out was deafening.

I had often wondered whether Stafford would have remained the same but I suppose like a lot of places they have had to change,good to know the Malt & Hops is still there,I remember others such as The Sun,The Bear Hotel some nightclub called The Top of the World or was it the End of the World??too many braincells gone since then.

Spraggy reckons there's a book to be written about those times,wish I could remember them all,I might even give it a shot!

Hopefully I will See Lesley on the 26th then and one or two other familiar faces I should think,just wish it was under happier circumstances.

Edited by Roverbiff
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For those who asked and wish to attend.

From a post on RM by Barry, Pauls close friend.

"Pauls funeral is Tues 26th at Pleasington 2-30" His Auntie (only family member) "She would like blue and white flowers or a donation to any charity of your choice."

Blues Bar open from 3.30pm tomorrow for Paul's wake.

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I know it seems like the wrong thing to say when someone's died but what a pleasure it is to read this thread about a man I never knew who was clearly a part of Rovers history and gave a lot of people some great memories. Looking at some of the other threads you'd find it hard to believe we all support the same club.

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  • 2 years later...

Hi meadows think i remenber you from the away days,im tomo from preston,there used to be 3 of us from preston,myself ,seeky, and ray,we had some great away days,do you remember goin to chelsea on pauls coach,and we went to a night club after the game,we also played chelsea supporters club,before the game,paul really looked after us,buffet after the game,etc;he was a true gent,we even stopped at is house the night before the chelsea trip,great memories,we was a wild bunch them days,remember the song alloetta,R.I.P. MR ASTLEY,A TRUE BLUE......

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  • 2 weeks later...

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