A LONG standing councillor and school governor from Fernhill Heath, who combined his local authority and school work with a passion for football, has died at his home aged 78.

Paul Coley, had lived in Fernhill Heath for 40 years and was a former chairman of North Claines Parish Council - serving on the parish council for nearly 26 years. He was also a Wychavon District Councillor for nearly 25 years and was a former chairman of the council and vice chairman of the standards committee.

Chairman of Wychavon Councillor Don Lawley said: "He was a very loyal man. He did not miss many meetings and he was very reliable. Education was really is field. He was a very warm man and he liked talking to visitors."

Coun Coley was a governor of Witton Middle School, Droitwich, and of St Barnabas C of E Primary School, Worcester - the school where his late wife had taught.

"He was also a big Arsenal fan. He was very proud of Arsenal," said Coun Lawley.

Last year Coun Coley was honoured by North Claines Parish Council for his 25 years service as a parish councillor.

Paul Middlebrough, leader of Wychavon, said: "Paul's sudden death came as a shock to us all. As a school governor, parish councillor and district councillor, he worked very hard and long past his retirement age. I know how proud he was of the long service award he had recently received."

Coun Coley was discovered at his home on Monday October 22 and at a meeting of Wychavon's development control committee on Thursday October 25 members stood in silence as a mark of respect to him. He had previously served on the committee.

Committee chairman Jean Dowty said: "He was on the council for well over 20 years and he was a member of this committee for a good 10 years at least and he was an exceptionally loyal member."

A funeral service will be held at Claines Church on Thursday November 8 at 1.30pm.