Tributes paid to “inspiration to Castleford” John Nash

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Tributes have been paid to a man who was “an inspiration to Castleford” after he died just a day before he was due to turn 81.

John Nash MBE passed away in Pinderfields last month.

The tireless campaigner had raised £435,000 for his treasured Savile Park.

Daughter Janet Mitchell said: “He put a lot of time and effort into that park for the children, bowlers and cricketers. For the town in general.

“I’ve lost an arm and a leg – I’ve lost my soulmate,” she said.

John was born in 1935 to parents Eileen and Reginald and raised in Lock Lane, Castleford, before moving around the town.

He spent more than 50 years with his beloved wife Shirley, who died in 2009.

The pair had two children: Ian and Janet.

During their time together John and Shirley enjoyed trips to places such as Singapore, Turkey, Florida and Las Vegas.

He served at Allerton Bywater Colliery all his working life and retired aged 50.

John revitalised the run-down Savile Park over many years, helping in the cafe with Shirley and securing grants to help brighten up the space.

This work meant “Papa Johnny”, as he was known to family, travelled to Buckingham Palace in June 2010, where Prince Charles handed him his MBE.

Sadly Shirley could not be there with him.

Mrs Mitchell, 51, of Bradley Avenue, said: “He was so chuffed, but all he kept saying was ‘There’s one person missing’.

“I was with him all the way. It was absolutely a fab weekend, we had a great time. All the way down he couldn’t believe it.

“He has spent a lot of his own time with the community in Castleford. If he could help anybody, he would.

“He has been an inspiration to me and an inspiration to Castleford.”