Wife pays tribute to Spalding chef who died on long-haul flight

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THE WIFE of a Spalding man who died on a plane on his way to Thailand has paid tribute to her “lovely” husband.

Paul Gregson died last month, aged just 56. He had fallen asleep a few hours into the flight and suffered a heart attack in his sleep.

He had recently started a new job for CP Foods, based in Newmarket, and was on his way to meet staff working in the company’s factory in the south east Asian country when he died last month.

Julie, Paul’s wife of 30 years, said: “It was a terrible shock. Paul had said he was going to text me when he got there and he didn’t but I just assumed there was a problem with his phone.

“Then a policewoman came to my door and told me what had happened.

“He had gone to sleep on the plane and not woken up. He hadn’t been ill before he went away, there was nothing to suggest there was anything wrong, so it was a total shock. It has taken a while to sink in, in fact it still hasn’t really registered.

“Paul was very kind and generous and just a lovely man.

“He had a lot of friends and was a brilliant dad to our two children.”

As well as Julie, Paul leaves behind daughter Laura (25), son Jamie (23) and his sister Jackie, who lives in Stevenage.

Paul and Julie were well known to many people in south Lincolnshire as they owned Spalding’s The Loft cafe between 2008 and 2011 and before that had the Black Horse at Gosberton Risegate and the Three Kings at Threekingham, near Sleaford.

Julie added: “Paul’s background was in food. He was very good at his job as a chef and he was a perfectionist – anyone who knew him will vouch for that.

“He was also a lifelong Chelsea supporter and we reflected that by asking people to wear blue to his funeral. There was a huge turnout at the funeral and the blue theme also ran through the flowers.”

Julie was full of praise for the police for the support offered in informing family of Paul’s death, and for CP Foods, who organised repatriation of his body.