First man in world to get Covid jab – William Shakespeare – dies aged 81

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The first man in the world to be vaccinated against coronavirus has died aged 81.

William Shakespeare's name and face became plastered across global press on December 8 last year after receiving his jab at the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.

Tributes have started flooding in for the pensioner from Coventry who died last Thursday at the same hospital, after suffering for a period of illness.

Local councillor Jayne Innes has described him as a "much-loved figure" with the Coventry Labour party, The Mirror reports.

Ms Innes said: "He was such a lovely man, one who had a real commitment to making his local area better.

“During lockdown local families will have enjoyed walking amongst the trees planted by Bill and his colleagues in Allesley back in the 1980s.

“He was also very involved with the creation of the Coundon Wood in 2005 and in fundraising for the purchase of Elkin Wood, now managed by the Woodland Trust in 1997."

Jayne added that Bill enjoyed the fact that having his jab early meant he could help campaign for others to follow suit.

She continued in her tribute: “Bill was a life-long campaigner, so he was delighted to be able to help encourage everyone to have the vaccine in order to return to all the things we enjoy in life. I’ve had my first. Having our jabs is the best tribute we can all pay Bill.

"He was a keen photographer, loved jazz and socialising, and also loved the natural world and gardens. Bill will be remembered for many things including a taste for mischief.

"He was a much respected figure in the Coventry Labour Party and he will be sorely missed."

Angela Hopkins, Coventry Labour Party secretary, added: "Bill has been an active member for many, many years, particularly in Bablake ward where he has walked hundreds of thousands of steps every year campaigning for the party and was an Allesley Parish Councillor.

"I know that he will be greatly missed not only by members in Bablake,
but by colleagues across the constituency and beyond."

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But it was not just in political circles that Bill was known.

He used to work at Rolls Royce and was also a school governor at Allesley Primary School, as well as at Coundon Court School.

But above all, he was a family man.

He leaves behind his wife Joy, two sons, one also called William but known as Will, as well as Julian.

He was also a proud grandfather.

Funeral details have yet to be arranged.

  • Covid vaccine
  • Tributes

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