TRIBUTES have been paid to a postmaster and a football coach Raj Patel who has died at the age of 44.

Among those paying tribute was Nick West, Droitwich Spa Boys and Girls FC chairman, who said Mr Patel was well known throughout Droitwich for running local businesses including the Witton Post Office, and volunteering at the football club.

In a death notice published recently the family said: “Rajesh Patel passed away suddenly at home on January 15, aged 44 years.

“He will be sadly missed by his wife, Meesha and his sons, Bobby Milan and Rohan.”

The message added his funeral was held at Worcester Crematorium last Friday.

Mr West said: “Raj was so passionate about football and the community. He coached two grassroots teams within the club - Droitwich Panthers and Droitwich Spartak, his sons Bobby and Rohan played in both teams respectively.

“We thank Raj for all his commitment to the club and to both teams.”

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Richard Bennett, the Spartans head coach, said. “Losing Raj leaves a huge void in the Spartak team and the football club. Not only was he a great coach, but a fantastic dad and brilliant friend. Everybody loved him, he was a real genuine man, a larger-than-life character who would do anything for anybody. He will be deeply missed; we will do our upmost to keep his spirit alive within the club.”

Roger Dale, former coach of Droitwich Panthers, added: “I ran the Panthers with Raj for five seasons and during this time we became good friends and shared a lot of laughter. The thing that struck me most about Raj was how passionate he was about his family and how much he loved to spend quality time with them. His passion for football and in particular QPR was infectious and rubbed off on us all. Raj was a very generous guy and nothing was ever too much trouble for him, if he could help in any way, he would, he really had a heart of gold and was loved by everybody, young and old’’.

Droitwich Town councillors have also paid tribute. Calling it sad news, Councillor Richard Morris said: “Raj ran the post office at Witton for a large period of time and was a key part of the community around the Witton area. He had a great knowledge about Droitwich and supported people so (as a council) we pass on our condolences.”

The family have asked for any donations in his name to go to Droitwich Spa Boys & Girls FC, which can be made online at