He has been described as “a big man with a big personality." 

And for all who knew Patrick “Paddy” Howe, he became something of a Norfolk legend both in his personal and sporting life. 

Taking the clay pigeon shooting world by storm, the world champion has died at the age of 85. 

Born in Horsford, near Norwich, on November 10, 1938, he was the eldest of five and only son to Clarence and Margaret Howe. 

He attended schools in Horsford and Hellesdon and left at the age of 15, pursuing several jobs before finding his calling as a tree surgeon. 

Eastern Daily Press: Paddy Howe in Somerleyton, 1976

In 1960, he met his future wife, Greta. They married four years later, and had two sons; Robert and Andrew. 

It was during the late 1960s that he discovered clay pigeon shooting and went on to win his first-ever shoot-off against Donald "Doddy" Dodd. 

In 1983, he made history at the European FITASC Sporting Championship with his son Robert. They became the first father and son pair to represent Great Britain at FITASC Sporting. 

Eastern Daily Press: Paddy Howe and son, Robert, in 1980

His shooting career spanned nearly 60 years, and within that time he became one of the world’s top shots, winning numerous World, European, British, English, Masters, Regional and County titles, and championships over his shooting career.  

He also represented England and Great Britain from 1972 for more than 30 years, visited South Africa, Australia, Algeria, America, most of Europe and Russia.  

At the age of 57, he retired from the sport but continued to volunteer as a coach to local junior shooting teams. He also ran local shoots to raise money for Horsford church and various charities.  

Paying tribute, friend Linda Heeks said: “Shooting was his passion, and he travelled the world representing his country accompanied by his loving wife Greta, who was always by his side.   

"Paddy was a big man with a big personality and was known to many in the shooting world.  He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.” 

Eastern Daily Press: World Champion (veterans over 55) 1995-1997

Mr Howe’s other passions included fishing, making things in his workshop, playing snooker and watching Formula 1. 

Five years ago, he suffered a stroke and was later diagnosed with vascular dementia. 

He died on February 7 and leaves behind his wife, sons, daughters-in-law Julia and Sally, and grandchildren Henry and Imogen. 

His funeral is due to take place at St Faith Crematorium on Friday. Details via Jerry March Funeral Services, 28 Holt Road, Horsford, NR10 3DD or www.jerrymarchfuneralservices.co.uk 

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