FORMER Ballarat policeman Paul Irving was a “blokey bloke” with a heart of gold, according to his wife Clare.
Mrs Irving said her husband, who died on Sunday aged 48 after a nearly five-year battle with advanced bowel cancer, loved the Hawthorn Football Club, the TAB and having a flutter.
“If anyone knew Paul, they would know he was pretty tough on the outside, but thinking about other people all the time,” Mrs Irving said.
She said it was a family joke that Mr Irving loved perusing the Wednesday shopping catalogues.
“If I was at the supermarket, he’d be texting me telling me not to buy Coke, because it was cheaper somewhere else.”
Mr Irving, who was born in Port Fairy, was a policeman for 23 years, retiring due to ill health last year.
Last June, Mr Irving told The Courier he left due to workplace bullying he said he suffered at the Ballarat Police Station between 2009 and 2012, for which he lodged a successful WorkCover claim.
Mr Irving appeared on an edition of the ABC’s 7.30 program about police workplace bullying last year.
Mrs Irving said they were only six weeks away from celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, a milestone Mr Irving had been trying to reach.
She said they met when Mr Irving was still in Port Fairy, working and playing football, and she was nursing in Warrnambool.
“He was actually a pretty good football player.”
Mrs Irving said he was thrilled his boys both commenced apprenticeships in their chosen careers recently.
In her tribute notice in yesterday’s edition of The Courier, Mrs Irving said he faced “every day with spirit and courage”.
Children Chris, Jayson and Renee described their father as their “rock and our best friend”.
“You taught us all to walk, talk, follow our dreams, and not give up on anything.”
Mr Irving’s funeral will be held at the Doveton Park Funeral Centre on Thursday at 10.30am.