Father pays tribute to ‘all round brilliant lad’ who died in Ashurst Wood crash

The family of Paul Keenor, 23, who sadly died when his car collided with a wall near his home in Ashurst Wood, East Grinstead, on Saturday night (August 1) have paid tribute to ‘an all round brilliant lad’.

His father Graham said he had been a much loved member of the community who would do anything for anybody.

A former pupil at Sackville School, East Grinstead, Paul and his younger sister, Poppy, 20, had both distinguished themselves as swimmers, competing on behalf of clubs in Crawley and East Grinstead.

Paul was also a talented rugby player, a cornerstone of the pack at prop forward, and he played regularly at Haywards Heath RUFC. He also represented Sussex.

Mr Keenor, senior, said: “From the age of 10 years old Paul was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, but he never let that stand in the way of his sport or his life in general.

“He had established his own business as a builder, employing three other men, and his order book was full well into next year.

“He had a lifelong interest in the fire service, joining the team at Forest Row in 2011, and had overcome his medical difficulties in order to gain a licence to become one of those able to drive the appliance.

“It was typical of him that when his alerter went off on Saturday night his only thought was that someone might be in trouble and he needed to help.”

Mr Keenor added: “Paul had a wicked sense of humour and he is going to be missed more than I can say by his family and all who knew him.”

He leaves two sons, Vincent, aged three, and Charlie, aged 17 months.

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