Nov 14 2012 by Michael Pringle, Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
Paddy Timoney and family
Family and friends of a national taekwondo champion from Coatbridge have been left devastated by his sudden death.
Popular Patrick “Paddy” Timoney (42), described as “a one-in-a-million man”, collapsed with a suspected heart attack in front of his wife, family and friends on Sunday morning during a grading session in Livingston.
The martial arts expert died despite valiant attempts to revive him by other participants in the event.
They took turns to perform CPR until paramedics arrived at the scene. Paddy was taken to St John’s Hospital in Livingston but medics were unable torevive him and he was pronounced dead.
The loving dad of three was looking to gain his fifth degree black belt during the grading session, taking place in front of a taekwondo grand master.
He was well known within the sport having coached the national team and fought in the 1998 world championships. He was also the current Scottish, Northern and British champion in the discipline of “hand destruction”.
His 43-year-old wife Jackie, who has also participated in the taekwondo world championships, was part of the judging panel for the grading session on Sunday and watched in horror as her husband suffered a seizure in front of her eyes.
She said: “I was searching everyone’s faces but no one would look me in the eyes.”
The Coatbridge couple, who run Glasgow East Taekwondo club, married 19 years ago. The childhood sweethearts met aged 14.
Their kids Aiden (13) and Erin (9) also practice taekwondo and thecouple became parents for the third time four months ago when baby daughter Cody was born.
Speaking to the Advertiser at the family home at Thornkip Place in Greenend, Jackie said: “She was our last wee gift from him. Cody’s christening is the week after next and we are going ahead with it as her daddy wouldn’t have wanted to cancel it.
“He was a one-in-a-million man and I just don’t want to shut my eyes — I just see him lying there.
“We’ve had messages of support from all over the world and I want everyone to know what a lovely guy he was. I don’t think there was anyone who didn’t like Paddy.”
Sunday’s tragedy unfolded just after 11am at the gym operated by close friend John McIlvaney, who said: “Every black belt took a turn at performing CPR on Paddy – nobody said a word they just got on with it. We must have been carrying it out for 30 to 40 minutes.”
It is Paddy’s life and not his death that his family and friends will remember. He was a Mod and, along with Jackie, still attended get-togethers and scooter dances. He was also a supporter of Aberdeen FC.
John added: “He was a consummate Mod. We went to Brighton for a taekwondo tournament and I took my scooter.
“Paddy wanted to fulfil a lifetime ambition so he walked about with his parka and desert boots on like something out of Quadrophenia.
“He had a great sense of humour and was a larger than life character — the finest person I’ve ever met.”
Paddy was a nightclub steward at Centre Point in Coatbridge.
Fellow doorman and good friend Arthur McHugh said: “We spent years working together and they were good times, I was totally gob-smacked when I heard what had happened.”
The funeral is expected to take place next Monday at St Columba’s Church in Viewpark, where he and Jackie were brought up.