Sporting colleagues have been paying their own tributes to Mal Williams who has died at the age of 80

Fellow sports lovers have added their tributes to Malcolm ‘Mal’ Williams who had died after a brave battle against cancer.

Mal, who was 80, was well-known in amateur cricket, football and bowls circles.

He grew up in Wednesbury in the West Midlands during wartime and was a huge Walsall fan. He moved to Paignton in 1963 to work for the then Paignton town council. He retired in 1993 after 30 years as a highways engineer.

He played football for Paignton Villa from 1964 to 1978 and also went on to carry out several roles at the South Devon League club from assistant manager to looking after the kit.

He started playing bowls in his 30s and played at Torquay Bowling Club, playing in their hugely successful teams and at a high, amateur level of the game. He represented Devon in the Middleton Cup for several years, winning many county and regional competitions.

Mal was a life member of the Belgrave Road club after spending over 40 years there as player, green keeper and committee member.

He was also a huge cricket fan, watching Worcester in his childhood. He became a member of Paignton Cricket Club in 1965 and was a vice president.

He was well-known for looking after the flower displays at Queens Park.

Mal also loved to watch his sons, Jon and Matt, play football and cricket and then watched his grandchildren in all their sporting and creative activities.

Paignton CC chairman Tim Ward said: “Malcolm showed dedication and loyalty and was a long-standing member of our club.

“He had the club at his heart. He had a passion for football, cricket and bowls for which he had a real talent. I remember fondly the annual fun social ‘Rampant bowl’ competition between the cricket club and the bowls club. I was absolutely delighted to see him in our team!

“Malcolm would always be in the bar after watching games with his dry sense of humour and warming smile. It was an honour and privilege to have known him.”

Mal was Green Ranger at Torquay Bowling Club. A tribute from the club said: “He will be deeply missed but has left us a lasting legacy in the Green which he looked after for many years.”

Mal leaves a loving partner, Chris, sons, Jon and Matt and five grandchildren.

Jon and Matt are planning a tribute evening to celebrate their dad’s life after the current pandemic issues for all his friends, former teammates and colleagues.