Saturday 20 October 2018

'The family have truly lost their rock' - tributes paid to Irish dad killed in UK motorway tragedy

Tributes have been paid to father-of-two Aidan Walsh
Tributes have been paid to father-of-two Aidan Walsh

Matthew Cooper

The family of a former Ireland table tennis international killed in a motorway crash have urged drivers to come forward to help the police inquiry.

Father-of-two Aidan Walsh, from Bedworth, Warwickshire, died on Monday after a pile-up involving his van and two lorries on the M5 near Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire.

In a statement released through West Mercia Police, the 52-year-old's family said: "Although in such horrifying circumstances, it's difficult to remember Aidan in any way other than a devoted husband and loving father.

"He was an immensely proud father to his two boys, Shay and Sean, and a dependable and much-loved son, brother and uncle."

The family statement added: "He came to England in the early Nineties leaving his beloved Dublin and a successful international table tennis career representing Ireland to help bring up his nieces and nephews following the also untimely death of their father.

"This summed up Aidan's selfless attitude and strong moral character. The family have truly lost their rock."

The family added: "The courage and support his two children have shown to his mother in this last awful week is a testimony to the man. His influence and personality truly lives on in his boys.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank people for the many wonderful messages we have received from our friends.

"We would also like to take this opportunity to urge anyone who can help police with their inquiries to come forward."

Traffic police are continuing to appeal for witnesses to the collision at about 3.10pm on Monday, particularly from motorists who may have dashcam footage.

Table Tennis Ireland issued a statement expressing its sadness at the death of Mr Walsh, who represented his country in a number of international events at both junior and senior levels.

The governing body's president, Ken Strong, said: "I am personally very sorry to hear of Aidan's death and pass on the association's sympathy to his wife, Jayne, and family in England and also to his relatives and friends in Ireland.

"Aidan was one of the most pleasant persons in our sport both on and off the table."

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