Tributes paid to 'funny and larger than life' Rugby man who died in tragic airport accident

“He lit up a room when he walked in. He was the life an soul of a party, with a huge smile to match. Ensuring everyone had fun!”

Rod Perkins.
Rod Perkins.

Tributes have been paid to a much-loved Rugby man who has been described as ‘the life and soul of the party’.

Rod Perkins was returning from a holiday in Spain when his car hit metal barriers at Birmingham Airport at around 9pm on Tuesday.

Despite great efforts to save him, Rod lost his life.

His friends say he was loved by everyone and he met many of those through his passion for real ale.

Rod was a long time member of CAMRA both active in producing newsletters and enjoying meetings all over the country.

Friend Steve Heighton met Rod through Rugby CAMRA.

He said: “Rod was a lovely bloke with a keen interest in rare beer bottles.”

Rod, from Hinckley, was also known as ‘Rodders’, ‘Perky’ and ‘Perkins’.

Lucy Hill had known Rod for nearly 40 years.

She said: “Rod loved the sun, sea and sand – Spain was one of his favourite places – Gambas Al Aillo and red wine. And of course a cold beer! He took up surfing on the south west coast in the last few years, which he thoroughly enjoyed and had some great stories to tell.

“He lit up a room when he walked in. He was the life an soul of a party, with a huge smile to match. His family, his brothers Jeff and Andy and their families, meant the world to him and I am sure they have a huge hole in their lives.”

Schoolfriend Jane Wilson said: “Rod was very, very funny and larger than. It’s so sad.”

Solihull Police are appealing for witnesses to the accident.

"We are appealing for witnesses following a fatal collision near Birmingham Airport last night (Tuesday).

"At around 9pm, a car hit metal barriers in Hermes Road. The driver, a man in his 60s, was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

"We are keen to hear from anyone in the area who might have seen what happened or have dashcam footage of the collision.

"Anyone with information can contact us via Live Chat on our website or by calling 101 quoting log number 3959 of 17 January."