I'm afraid Webby's sister has contacted me with sad news that Webby, or Paul as we should call him, died on Friday evening the 20 January. His last few days were spent in a coma. For the last twelve weeks of his life he had excellent care in Nightingale House Hospice, Wrexham. He remained as kind, lovely and witty until the end. He had been battling with a brain tumour since he was diagnosed nearly four years ago but fought until the end, his body so fit and strong.

In the spring-time there will be a celebration of Paul's life. This will be held in Nottingham at the Arboretum, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonnington Campus; Paul wishes for his ashes to lay in this beautiful place.

I was struggling to put together memories and impressions of Webby when an email arrived from Grat which he'd sent to Webby's sister and which put my thoughts into words exactly. I hope you don't mind me pinching the content Grat but it just seems so right -

This is indeed very sad and upsetting news. I had the privilege of being a close friend of Paul’s at school. I have many fond memories of him. His love of sport, his running, playing rugby and cricket together. Growing up and just generally having fun together. Listening to music, going to parties, the pursuit of the opposite sex! Hitch hiking together and camping in Newquay. Almost 40 years on from Carlton-le-Willows some of the details fade but what shines through clearly is the memory of his character, his fun and humour, his warm and generous spirit. We had lost contact for many years until very recently. Typical of Paul, he made light of his illness. But what came through very clearly was the strong love and affection that he had for all of you in his family and in particular his children.

Webby had contacted me about a year ago now, as he was trying to contact some of his closest friends from school. I'm glad to say he managed to get in touch and meet up with some of them - Dio, Grat, Trus, Olly, and Bert. He let me know about his illness then, and was certainly remaining very positive, despite not feeling confident enough to carry on his running which he still loved. I contacted him again in August when he had just come back from Brighton and I know he was a very proud grandad

We had a conversation about the tremendous influence he had on our musical development, or rather Mr Webb senior had! The first of our crowd with a stereo - B and O stereo at that! We used to sit in a group exactly in the middle of those wonderful speakers and listen to Wishbone Ash like we'd never heard them before...and the 1812 overture. And he was the first one to get a colour TV! Oh how different the world was in colour - my son still doesn't believe we ever had to watch TV in black and white!

As Grat says, our memories of Paul are of his love of sport - running and rugby in particular, of parties and first girlfriends, and that Carlton le Willows humour that seems to have been instilled in all of us. He of course had to contend with a long period in hospital when we were all just off to University and he was hit by a car after our biology practical A level

As you know I still have the famous diaries, and I've had a rummage through them for some mentions of Webby, to jog our memories of the friend we've lost

7th February 1972

Webby, Bert, Trev and Stach went to town and got attacked by some skinheads. On the Friday Webby went to the doctors and was told he had to go into hospital to get his nose sorted out as it was broken in the fight. We are having powercuts and voltage reductions almost every day.

22nd March 1972

House cross country and Bert came 19th, Tats 6th, Webby 2nd and Olly 1st.

2nd May 1972

Went to the railway club and Netho fair with Bert, Webby, Trev, Stach, Yvonne and Lorraine

19th January 1973

Went to Moor Farm with Wiff, Bert, Pete and Webby. Met Grat, Hank and Hodgie there and went for a Chinese at Mapperley. Took it to Webby’s house and listened to records until 1.00. It snowed and I got a lift home on Pete’s bike.

28th March 1973

House cross country which Webby won. Johnnos car broke down at night and we had to push it halfway up Carlton Hill.

27th June 1973

Bert and Webby came down to wait for Julie because they’re going to the Digby dance.

29th June 1973

Biology practical exam in Sheffield. We went up in Dons van and stopped in Doncaster on the way back for a couple of hours as Don’s girlfriend lives there. My biology notes were thrown out of the window somewhere on the A1! We discovered the next day that Bert and Webby had come back on the train from Sheffield and hitched down to the Marquis for a drink. As they were hitching back a passing mini van swerved at them as if he was trying to hit them. He missed Bert but knocked Webby over the hedge into a tree. Bert ran after the van and he stopped but drove away again before Bert could catch up with him. Bert flagged down a car and they eventually got Webby to hospital. It transpired the mini van driver had a passenger who had banged his head against the window and smashed it. He’d been set down in Lowdham where the police found him wandering around with concussion, and they traced the driver.

21st July 1973

In the afternoon Olly rang up about going to see Webby so I went round to Mops and persuaded him to come, then rang Olly up. We picked up Bert and went to the hospital to see Webby. He seemed OK but I’d hate to be in that hospital.

26th July 1973

Grat came down and we went into town and met the French girls in the square. We went to Selectadisc and Grat bought 2 LPs, then we went back to the square and sat by the left lion for a while. Then we went up to the hospital to see Webby – he might be getting out soon.

28th July 1973

In the afternoon I went up to Bert’s and we caught the bus into town and met the French in the square. Me, Bert and Christine went up to see Webby because I won’t see him for 3 weeks at least. He seems to be getting on OK.

28th September 1973

We went down to Coral’s to drop Tat’s Beatles double album off at her house. Then we all went down to Gabbies to take her my records, and after that off to the Marquis for the last time with Grat, Dio, Olly, Webby and Bert. This was my last night before going to University.

28th December 1973

Went to Steve’s party at night and got a lift back in Grat’s car – seven of us. We went up to the Chinese and took our food down to Webby’s where we eat it and listened to records. We stayed until about 2.00 and Hodgie fell asleep again.