Friends and family pay tribute to Banbury father who 'got on with everyone'
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Mark passed away on Tuesday October 10, aged 59, after suffering from a heart attack.
Mark, a son of the late Nigel and Mary Aston, was a family man and spent a lot of time with his son Lewis, his sister Carol, and his nephews Delroy, Nadelle, and Kayleigh.
A regular on the terraces at Banbury United with Lewis, Mark was known around town for his warm smile, passion for reggae music, and love of his pet dogs.
Cousin to Mark, Dino Thompson said: “Once you became Mark’s friend, you stayed Mark’s friend. He always had a cheeky smile, and loved joining in the games with his nephews.
"Mark loved his dogs, first Timmy and Tina, then years later Marley and more recently Scooby, and was well known around town for his work as an electrician, where he would gladly help anyone."
Mark was perhaps best known for his achievements with Banbury’s pioneering Lau Gar Kung Fu School, of which he was a member from 1977 until 1988.
In that time, he competed in hundreds of competitions, picking up British and European titles and competing abroad on a number of occasions.
Mark and his friend Alvin Mighty claimed many world team championships during the 1980s and became a force to be reckoned with in the martial arts world.
Head of the World United Martial Arts Federation, Richard Hopkins, said: “Mark’s death has shocked the martial arts world; his old teammates have received hundreds of condolence messages from martial artists worldwide.
"It was reported in Combat magazine in 1985 that Mark was the UK’s best kicker, as his scoring on the mats and the ring were second to none; he beat the country’s best Taekwondo champions and the American team.
“He was well known around Banbury and got along with everyone; we will all miss him so much.”
Mark also won the Banbury Guardian’s sports personality of the year award but retired from competition in 1988 to concentrate on his work as an electrician.
Mark’s funeral will take place at Banbury Crematorium on Wednesday November 1 at 12noon. This will be followed by a gathering at Banbury United.