Tributes paid to Wigan taxi driver and 'gentle giant'

Paul Schofield with wife Joyce
Paul Schofield with wife Joyce

Tributes have been paid to a popular Wigan taxi driver who “would do anything for anyone” following his unexpected death.

Paul Schofield died suddenly last week, prompting an outpouring of emotion from family and friends.

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The 62-year-old had lived in Aspull all his life with his wife Joyce, who relatives described as “the love of his life.”

A lifelong Wigan Athletic fan, Paul also worked several jobs over the years, including a long stint at the Heinz factory in Kitt Green.

He later spent three decades as a taxi driver, making him a familiar face across the town.

“He would do anything for anyone,” said daughter-in-law Elaine Donnelly.

“He was loved by so many and was so popular.”

“He was a gentle giant. He was Wigan Athletic mad, and went to every match. He even wore a Latics bob hat to his daughter’s wedding!”

His daughter Amanda: “He was just an all round bubbly, genuine man, and an amazing guy.

“He worked for nearly every taxi company in Wigan over 30 years.”

Tributes were also paid to Paul on social media, with many sharing memories of him.

Eunice Cadman wrote: “I remember a lot but the one that sticks out was Latics were playing away for some cup match, and our Paul pulled a sicky at work, only to be splashed all over the Wigan Post and Chronicle the next night. Only he could do it!”

Jason Bradshaw said: “Paul was a top man, always a gentleman...rest in peace mate.”

A fund-raiser has been launched to support Paul’s widow Joyce, and to cover his funeral costs.

“Things have been a struggle for them recently and the cost of the funeral is a real worry for Joyce, so I am hoping we can lift that burden from her,” Elaine said.

A fund-raising day is also set to be held at the Royal British Legion in Sumner Street, Aspull, from 7pm on Friday July 19.

Residents are invited to come together to celebrate Paul’s life and help support his family in the process through various activities including a raffle and auction. There will also be entertainment provided including bingo and a DJ.

Donations can be made at gofundme.com/f/wigan-taxi-drivers-funeral-help-needed.