Search

Wyatts Green swimming champion dies on 50th wedding anniversary cruise

PUBLISHED: 10:47 10 April 2012 | UPDATED: 14:29 10 April 2012

Paul Alvarez pictured here with his wife, Francis after a swimming competition.

Paul Alvarez pictured here with his wife, Francis after a swimming competition.

Archant

A gold-medal-winning master swimmer and theatre company founder died while celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary on board a cruise liner.

Paul Alvarez, 77, was travelling around the Canary Islands when he suffered a heart attack on the evening of his golden wedding anniversary after performing his favourite ballroom dance with his wife, Frances, 71.

The couple, who lived in Wyatts Green, featured on the front page of the Recorder last year after winning a haul of medals in at the Essex Master Swimming Chamionships, despite having had to take time out from the sport to have hip replacements.

Mrs Alvarez said: “He was a very good master swimmer and had won a number of gold medals, which he was very proud of. Paul was a very energetic person and people were amazed when I told them what happened, because he was so fit until the end.”

The couple had two sons, Mark, 47 and Grant, 45. Grant inherited his parents’ creative streak and regularly organised museum exhibitions. Paul was an acting deputy headteacher before taking early retirement to concentrate on swimming and acting.

The couple, originally from Ilford, trained five times a week at the Brentwood Centre, Doddinghurst Road, in order to keep in shape for competitions.

They had also up their own theatre company, Vortex, which regularly put on productions at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford.

Mrs Alvarez added: “The theatre company was our baby and we used to be heavily involved, from the scriptwriting and acting to costume.”

Former Kenneth More Theatre general manager Vivyan Ellacott said: “I knew Paul for many years through the theatre and he was a fine actor, but it was his sheer generosity of spirit which I found amazing. He was always willing to help others out.

“He was in love with the theatre and was always so enthusiastic, which inspired others to get involved.”

Paul was also a founder member of the group Redbridge Swimmers, which championed the repoening of a closed swimming pool in Ilford.

John Sharrock, chairman of community group Barkingside 21, said: “He was a well-respected and important member of the community and he would never shy away from getting involved, particularly in Redbridge Swimmers.

“He was the backbone of the group and he was well known throughout the area.”

Related articles

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 18:04

A witness in the Beniamin Pieknyi murder trial told the court today he’d pleaded with the alleged attacker, telling him “it’s not worth it”.

Yesterday, 17:00

A resident has grown a massive pumpkin at a Havering-atte-Bower garden that is said to be 10ft in circumference.

Yesterday, 14:58

Havering’s NHS hospital trust has appointed the former chief financial officer of British Airways as its new CFO.

Yesterday, 13:10

From taking dance classes just for fun, to getting prepared to perform in front of thousands, a teenage street dance group is reaching new heights.

Yesterday, 10:04

A group of volunteers at a Hornchurch Charity are raising funds to provide a multi-sports court and beds for children in Ethiopia.

Yesterday, 10:03

A police officer caught driving a car without insurance or a MOT certificate committed “gross misconduct”, a hearing found.

Yesterday, 07:00

A total of 673 affordable homes weren’t built when they should have been, a report has shown.

Wed, 19:04

Firefighters and the RSPCA helped rescue a lucky black cat from a car engine in Elm Park.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now