Wade’s founder a man with a big personality

Annesley Renshaw,centre, Wade Training, during the launch of shorts sponsorship at Shamrock Park. Included is Bill Emerson.  secretary of Portadown FC.
Annesley Renshaw,centre, Wade Training, during the launch of shorts sponsorship at Shamrock Park. Included is Bill Emerson. secretary of Portadown FC.

Tributes have been paid to former Portadown businessman, sports supporter and sponsor Annesley Renshaw who died on Tuesday after an illness, aged 62.

Mr Renshaw set up Wade Training in Portadown in the mid 1980s, successfully overseeing the company’s growth into a number of other towns.

During this time, he was credited with setting many young people on the road to employment with a mixture of sound advice and an ability to motivate and inspire them.

He had an interest in many sports - both as a supporter and sponsor. He was past president and recent chairman of Portadown Rugby Football Club, and also supported Portadown FC, the Northern Ireland team, Banbridge Town FC and Dunbarton Bowling Club, as well as being a lifelong supporter of Liverpool Football Club.

Born in Portadown, Mr Renshaw attended Portadown College and many of the friends he met there remained so up until his death.

He and his wife Carmel, who have three children, Patrick, Andrew and Owen, had been living in Banbridge for the past number of years.

Longtime friend Brian Irwin said, “Annesley made a real contribution and a difference wherever he went, in his own inimitable style. He will be missed for his personality, his friendship and his sense of humour.”

Bill Emerson, secretary of Portadown FC, originally knew Mr Renshaw from their days at Portadown Rugby Club, where Mr Renshaw played and captained one of the teams.

Bill and his wife Francess were godparents to the Renshaws’ oldest son Patrick and over the years both men enjoyed a number of football trips abroad together.

He said. “For a small fella, he was a huge, huge character. He was a very, very good friend and I am going to miss him terribly.”

Other friends have been paying their tributes on the Facebook pages of the various groups he supported, with one describing him as a “true gent ... genuine, kindhearted and loved by everyone”.