Burnley butcher and charity champion dies (65)

REST IN PEACE: Paul Wilkinson, who was a member of The Society of St.George for 43 years
REST IN PEACE: Paul Wilkinson, who was a member of The Society of St.George for 43 years

A RESPECTED businessman, who will be remembered for his contributions to charitable work in Burnley, has died.

Paul Wilkinson (65), who served the community in Lowerhouse for more than 40 years, was playing badminton on July 3rd when he suffered a heart attack.

He was a keen sportsman, who had been playing badminton for 35 years, and had competed in leagues.

Despite the efforts of his friends, there was nothing that could be done to save him.

Mr Wilkinson leaves his wife Renee, son Nigel and grandchildren Cally, Cory and Abbey, and will leave a lasting mark on The Society of St George, of which he was a dedicated member for 43 years.

Current president Mr Geoff Green said: “I’d known Paul a long time. He was a member before I was.

“He always put a lot of work and effort into the society.

“He was treasurer for a while, and was always very accurate about figures.

“The auditors had to do very little work.

“It came as a big shock to everybody.

“He was the least likely person I thought it would happen to.

“He wasn’t a smoker and it was very sudden,

“You don’t expect it to happen to people like Paul.”

Mr Wilkinson will also be remembered for his connection with the butchery trade.

He became a butcher after starting cleaning duties at a shop when he was aged just 11. He later opened a shop in Lowerhouse Lane, where he gained a reputation for the quality of his service and products.

Mr Wilkinson’s funeral will take place at Burnley Crematorium at 1-40pm today (Friday).