Tributes paid to much loved Eastbourne football coach


A much loved Eastbourne football coach has died following a year-long battle with cancer.

Paul Johnson, a football coach at the CACL children’s football camps for 30 years, died in the early hours of Friday morning (August 23) with his son, Ben, and daughter, Laura, by his side.

CACL football coach Paul Johnson

CACL football coach Paul Johnson

Ben and Laura said, “He was a wonderful and caring dad who lived life to the full. He approached everything in life with a positive attitude which he carried through in the way he fought his illness.

“He was the sunshine in our lives and never failed to make us laugh. He was a fanatic Brighton supporter who followed them in the bad times as well as the really good times. We will miss him everyday.”

CACL founders and close friends, Chris and Cheryl Pinch, had organised to meet Paul at the Brighton game on September 14 after thinking he was on the road to recovery.

Chris and Cheryl said, “We cannot pay tribute of a high enough honour. Paul was with us for 30 years, he often travelled over 60 miles to coach on a Saturday morning as he loved the atmosphere and the coaching environment so much.

“He set a superb example to the younger coaches with his enthusiasm and passion for the game and he was loved by the young players he coached.”

Paul was an extremely popular figure who was involved in more than 60 CACL football camps and ran the overseas coaching programme for Jurgen Matthes, the student organisation in Eastbourne.

The couple said, “Paul will always hold a special place in our hearts for his dedication to coaching and being such a strong support to his colleagues on and off the pitch.

“His achievements and career were to be highlighted at our 40th Anniversary this coming year - alas, he will not be there but we will honour his memory with great affection.

“To our dear friend Paul, we say thank you for the way you gave so much of yourself and time to others at CACL - you will be impossible to replace and we will miss you greatly. May you rest in peace dear friend.”