A WELL known Worcester GP has died at the age of 72.

Tributes have been paid to Dr John Breakwell, who served the city’s community for almost 40 years.

Dr Breakwell passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, April 18, his family have said.

Qualifying as a doctor in 1970 from Birmingham University, Dr Breakwell moved into general practice in the mid-1970s – beginning his career at Worcester’s Spring Gardens Medical Practice.

He left general practice for a brief period in 1987, going to work in public health medicine for a year in Cardiff.

But the popular doctor soon returned to Worcestershire, working as a locum GP until his retirement at the age of 65.

Among those to pass on their tributes to his family have been friends, former colleagues and patients.

Dr Breakwell's son Peter said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the wonderful messages and words of support we’ve received from so many people – not just locally, but from all over the world.

“Dad always dreamed of becoming a doctor. He loved his work and always did his very best for every one of his patients.

“Anyone who knew dad couldn’t help but be touched by his humanity and generosity. He had time for everyone and a genuine interest in all who he met.

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“His was so dearly loved by his family, he will leave a huge hole in our lives.”

Starting his medical training in 1965, Dr Breakwell qualified five years later with his first post as a surgical house officer at Worcester Royal Infirmary. This was followed by six months as a medical house officer at Ronkswood Hospital.

He then went on to work in paediatric medicine and obstetrics before deciding his career lay in general practice.

Outside of medicine, Dr Breakwell will also be remembered for his involvement with a number of county organisations including the Elgar Round Table, Worcester Rowing Club and Worcester Masonic Lodge. He was also president of Worcester Cricket Club at Norton.

Dr John’s funeral was held on Monday, May 11 and he was laid to rest at Astwood Cemetery.

The family are hoping to hold a memorial service later this year, for people to pay tribute to his life and career.

Dr Breakwell leaves wife Giulia and sons Simon, Peter and Andrew.