By Liam Courtney
It was with great shock and deep sadness that the club and community learned of the sudden and untimely passing of our esteemed colleague Paul Spencer on Sunday 27th of December last. Paul was a much loved and active member of Ballinasloe RFC for more than twenty years right up to the time of his death.
He served in many roles over the seasons from under – age coaching to club President for 2005/2006. Though a coach of some repute it was mainly as an administrator that he busied himself in club activities. Indeed, he was the current minutes secretary on the committee.
Born in Plumstead in the U.K. and a Chartered Quantity Surveyor by profession he was a playing member and coach at Old Aldwinians Rugby Club in Manchester prior to returning for a second and final time to live in Ballinasloe with his wife Rita (Jordan) and family. He loved residing in this area and was in the final stages of gaining Irish citizenship.
His interest in sport extended beyond rugby, however, and he was a lifelong follower of Everton FC in soccer as well as a keen golfer playing as regularly as time would allow him. He had a great passion for music and played bass guitar with a dance band called the Brass Farthings which he joined while at school in London.
Paul was a fine humanitarian and apart from being a member of the Ballinasloe Lions Club he also paid many visits to Belarus working with local charities in construction programmes. He was most affable and approachable and always glad to give professional advice when requested. He was involved in the restoration of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Creagh as well as being on the project team that oversaw the new astro-turf playing area recently installed at the rugby club.
The many of us fortunate enough to have shared his friendship and good humour and been beneficiaries of his generosity of spirit through the years, will miss him greatly.
To Rita and their family, we again extend our deepest sympathy.
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