HE TOUCHED the hearts of so many people.
Fond tributes were paid today to Paul Nicholson, a cab driver who died doing the job he loved.
The 65-year-old, from Waterlooville, died on the M25 near London after dropping off some customers at an airport.
The circumstances of the incident, at about 5.20am on Sunday, are still being investigated, but crash investigators say Paul’s Hyundai left the road and hit a barrier.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
His death has left a deep hole at Andicars, the private hire firm in Havant and Waterlooville where he had worked for more than 20 years.
Jo Linford paid an emotional tribute to her colleague.
She said: ‘Paul touched the hearts of customers and colleagues.
‘Colleagues have said he was an amazing driver, who was always smartly dressed and his car was always immaculate.
‘There wasn’t a speck of dirt anywhere.
‘Andicars colleagues have said he was the best driver on the fleet.
‘Paul loved his family very much, doting on his wife, children and grandchildren.
‘Paul liked football and followed it. Another love of Paul’s was classical music. Classic FM was always on in his car.’
His death has shocked customers of the firm.
Jo added: ‘Many customers have mentioned how sad they are, because he was such a lovely driver.
‘Others have said he had the patience of a saint and he was kind-hearted.
‘It was a privilege and a great honour to know Paul. He would tell me about his younger days, it made me laugh.
‘This is a tragic loss of a wonderful man, who was taken too early.
‘Many lovely messages have been sent and they have been read and appreciated.’
Joe Malia, one of the directors of the firm, said: ‘Needless to say, people were very upset when they got to know about it.
‘You know these things happen but it never occurs to you that it will happen to you.’
Joe said he had not had a single complaint about Paul in all his time at the firm.
He added: ‘All I can say is that he will be missed and our thoughts are with his family.’
Police are appealing for witnesses to the crash, which happened between junction 10 and junction 11. Call 101.