Shock death of Park Ranger Clinty (60)

Ranger Graham Greenwood
Ranger Graham Greenwood

A Burnley park ranger who was passionate about the outdoors and was “a true gentleman” has died.

Keen golfer and Clarets fan Mr Graham Greenwood (60) died suddenly on December 13th at his home in Bromsgrove Road. Before his funeral, well-wishers paid their respects to grandfather Mr Greenwood, whose nickname was Clinty, by forming a guard of honour in Thompson Park where he had worked for two decades.

His devastated fiancee Paula North said the couple had just become legal guardians of a 10-year-old boy in the months before his death. She paid tribute to the “love of my life” and “the most honourable man I have ever met.” Mr Greenwood, who was born and brought up in Bank Hall, worked at Prestige and Lucas Aerospace before becoming a park ranger, a job suited to his love of wildlife and natural history.

Paula said: “He was an incredible man, he was witty and he was calming. He was a very unassuming man and he was good at diffusing situations.

“We were once in Towneley Park and there were some youths on a motorbike riding on the path. He just strolled over to them really calmly and had a quiet word with them and they drove off. That’s why I called him Clinty, after Clint Eastwood.”

Paula, who lives in Blackburn, said Mr Greenwood was devoted to his family, her son Thomas, daughter Bethany and grandsons Thomas (7) and Oliver (3) as well as the boy in their care.

“One of the things I loved so much about Graham was that he could see the beauty in everything, in the simplest of things, in a little bug with its iridescent shell. He took lots of photographs of wildlife around Burnley.”

A music fan with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Beatles, Mr Greenwood was just as happy in the kitchen where he used to bake bread for the family.

“He was an incredibly loyal gentleman. His death has left a huge gap.” Mr Greenwood also leaves his two sisters.