TRIBUTES have been paid to a Bury Times fishing columnist and family man with a “heart of pure gold”.

Paul Adrian Duerden, who lived in Hollins, took a keen interest in angling and wrote regular articles for our newspaper.

Known to family and close friends as Aid, he died at the age of 59 on February 23, at Fairfield Hospital following a sudden illness.

Paul, who had lived in Hollins since 1991, was born in Bury and attended East Ward Secondary School.

He had a love for fishing throughout his life and in recent years was involved with both Ramsbottom Angling Association and Unsworth Angling Club.

Paul is survived by his wife Gillian, aged 55, to whom he had been married 36-and-a-half years.

He also leaves behind two daughters, Kay, aged 35, and Adele, aged 32, son-in law Tony and three grand-daughters Casey, aged nine, Jessica, aged seven, and Rachel, aged one and grandson Ethan, aged six months.

Kay said: “Fishing and writing the fishing reports for the Bury Times gave dad so much joy.

“He especially enjoyed coaching junior anglers and his favourite local fishing lodges were Crown Pools and Hollins Vale.

“But his real passion has always been his family, who were the centre of his world. We were never left in any doubt of that. Dad had a devilish sense of humour with a smile that would leave the Cheshire Cat wanting.

“He was extremely selfless and would help anybody — nothing was ever too much trouble. He had a heart of pure gold.”

Nick Jackson, who was sports editor of the Bury Times while Paul contributed angling columns over a 12-month period, said: “Paul was always a pleasure to deal with.

“He had his finger on the pulse of what was going on in the angling community and he cared passionately about passing on his knowledge to youngsters and promoting the sport locally.

“He was the sort of contact who is essential to newspapers like the Bury Times. His passing is a sad loss.”

Paul volunteered Ramsbottom Angling Association’s working party manager and had recently qualified as an Angling Trust level one coach.

Neil Wright, secretary of Ramsbottom Angling Association, said: “I am deeply saddened at the loss of a friend and fellow coach.

"Paul was one of life’s genuine nice guys and would do anything to help progress and publicise our club, even running the Twitter account.

"We will most surely miss this genial man, who has left an indelible mark on our club and the local angling community.”

Paul’s funeral took place on Thursday at St Thomas’ Church in Rochdale Road, Bury, followed by a service at Rochdale Crematorium.