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Friend pays tribute to 'much loved' Paul Bagnall after Orpington teen's death

PUBLISHED: 11:03 17 January 2014 | UPDATED: 11:13 17 January 2014

Tributes have flooded in after the death of Darrick Wood pupil Paul Bagnall.

Tributes have flooded in after the death of Darrick Wood pupil Paul Bagnall.

Archant

Tributes continue to pour in after the shock death of Orpington teenager Paul Bagnall last week.

The 18-year-old Darrick Wood School prefect, of Dryland Avenue, was found hanged at his home on January 7 and pronounced dead soon after by a doctor from London’s Air Ambulance.

It is believed he had no history of bullying, and had recently been accepted for a place at Southampton University - studying mechanical engineering.

Here his close friend Matt Hall recalls his time spent with Paul, who he met while the pair both studied for their black belt in karate.

Paul was a fantastic person all round. He was clever, funny, athletic and always happy.

He had the ability to make people laugh just through walking into the room. I can’t recall a time when I saw him down or upset. I’m sure he went through tough times, but he always put on a brave face.

He had a wide range of interests. I often took him down to watch Bromley matches, and he was a big Arsenal fan too. He was very keen on rugby, having played for a team and watched Harlequins regularly.

As well as being bi-lingual, he achieved black belt in karate - which was where I met him.

We played a big part in helping each other achieve black belt, and we’d recently been working on something new together.

Every time I saw him, we always had a laugh - that’s the sort of person he was. I even remember refereeing karate bouts with him at competitions. Even if I looked at him without saying anything, he’d have a big grin. When we taught classes together, we’d always have an enjoyable time ourselves, whilst producing an effective lesson.

I know he was very highly respected by those he taught.

His passing away came as a big shock to me, and it’s a very sad time for everyone who knew him. Things won’t be quite the same from now, but I know for a fact he wouldn’t want people to be sad.

He achieved a lot in his life and he’d want people to celebrate that. He was a pleasure to be around, and I’ll never forget my time with him.

I know he was much loved by many, and my support is firmly with his family at this difficult time.

Rest in peace, Paul. You’ll be greatly missed.

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