NEWS: Tributes from the top after tragic loss of popular Charlie Hall barman, Paul Ralph

Words by Adam Smith / Pics by Ed King

Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin has led the tributes to a popular Erdington barman who pulled pints in the Charlie Hall for 18 years but tragically died of a heart attack earlier this month.

Paul Ralph was just 41-years-old when he died two weeks ago leaving his wife, five children, colleagues, and customers at the Erdington pub heartbroken.

The Villa fan, who lived on Tyburn Road, was a friendly face for thousands of patrons of the Barnabas Road pub since 2002 and the subject of a touching tribute by Wetherspoon chairman, who is in charge of 900 pubs across the UK.

Tim Martin told Erdington Local: “I’m extremely sorry to hear the very sad news about Paul. He was an exceptional member of the team for many years, extremely popular with both staff and customers. Our deepest condolences to Paul’s family and friends.”

Charlie Hall manageress, Claire Brickland, who has run the pub since it opened in July 2000, said all the staff missed Paul terribly.

She said: “It is still upsetting to even think about Paul. He was such a nice guy, he always made you laugh and he did not have a bad bone in his body.

He was here for 18 years and everyone connected to the Charlie Hall misses him, he lived for his family and was just 41 when he died.”

Patrons at the pub immediately set up a fundraising appeal for people to donate money towards his family and drinkers have been giving generously.

Charlie Hall regular Jim Stark, aged 58, paid the highest compliment which can be paid to a Brummie bloke, calling him “genuine”.

He said: “He was just a lovely man. I remember him from when he worked in The Stockland nearly 20 years ago, but he went from being a barman to being a friend.

He was a brilliant barman too, what I would call old school.

When I came back in the pub after being in hospital he made sure I never had to get up to go the bar, he knew exactly how long it would take me to finish a drink and would be there with a new one when I wanted one.”

He added: “I’m a Leeds fan and he was mad Villa, and we used to bet every Saturday. If we won and Villa lost he’d buy me a pint, and the other way round. I had to buy him a few drinks at the end of this season. He got to see Villa stay up.

I was with him the night before he died, I could not believe it when the staff sat me down and told me, he loved his family so much.”

Jim’s son James, 31, added: “The staff are gutted, you never saw Paul standing around, he was always busy and is going to missed so much.”

Paul’s funeral is on Thursday, September 3rd, at 11.30am at Sutton Crematorium.

There is a maximum of 30 people allowed inside, due to COVID-19 restrictions, but mourners are invited to stand outside.

The funeral procession will pass both the Charlie Hall in Erdington and Village Green in Stockland Green.

To find out more about the Charlie Hall in Erdington, visit www.jdwetherspoon.com/pub-histories/england/west-midlands/the-charlie-hall-erdington

For more details on Sutton Crematorium, visit www.birmingham.gov.uk/directory_record/459/sutton_coldfield_crematorium

For more on the wider Wetherspoon pub chain, visit www.jdwetherspoon.com

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2 Replies to “NEWS: Tributes from the top after tragic loss of popular Charlie Hall barman, Paul Ralph”

  1. So sad…. What a genuine guy and poor Gemma as she also lost her dad not long ago….

    Thinking of the little children beautiful family….

  2. Worked with Paul, for while at The Charlie, Never met a more genuine lad (as I called him). The only things that mattered to him were his Family and The Villa. Extremely sad news.

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