Saturday, 9 June 2012

Paul Sussman RIP

I received some awfully sad news last week that a university contemporary of mine, Paul Sussman, had passed away, aged just 45, after suffering a ruptured aneurysm.

Paul was one of life's originals. Two years below me, I recall him turning up in college in his first year - a dishevelled character in a dodgy jacket and sporting an even dodgier moustache. From day one he stood out as a genuine eccentric and soon won people over with his charm and ready wit. Moreover, despite a physique that no one would describe as athletic, he soon became a key member of the college 3rd XV (as much for his social capabilities as for his rugby prowess) and, astonishingly, went on to box for the university 2 years later.

That was the thing about Suss - it seemed he could turn his hand to pretty much anything and, until his death last week, I had no idea he had gone on to be such a success as a journalist and novelist.

I can't pretend that Suss was a close friend, but you couldn't help but warm to the bloke and when living in London I'd run into him from time to time at parties and other social gatherings. On one such occasion I recall getting together with a group of old college mates in a pub where Paul - clearly short of funds at the time - would get his round in by reaching under the table into a carrier bag stuffed with cheap lager!

The last time I saw Paul was, ironically, a few years ago at another college mate's funeral. It just doesn't seem right that such good guys should be taken so young.

RIP Suss - my thoughts are with you and your young family.

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