A look back on the career of the best player to play for Uphill - Paul Edwards

PUBLISHED: 09:00 01 June 2020

Paul Edwards has been with Uphill since the age of 11.

Paul Edwards has been with Uphill since the age of 11.

Uphill Badminton Club has been one of the largest in the South West for the last 20/25 years combining it’s senior and junior sections.

It has a proud tradition of training up junior players who progress to the senior league teams and countless members have gone on to represent it’s highest teams.

Arguably the most talented player to come through has been Paul Edwards, who began with the juniors aged 11 in 1993, after dad Adrian played a match for his club Frys against Uphill, where he met junior club coach Caroline Poole.

Paul, with brother Mark, was invited to the Saturday junior club training, which started him attending weekly sessions at Westlands sports hall and he was promptly invited to the Avon U12 set-up.

Edwards rose through the county age groups, including a spell at the Bath futures programme where he played in a selective group of players across the South West counties to receive coaching from former England players Pete and Anthony Bush.

This was in addition to representing Uphill at U15 and U18 level before moving into the senior club at 15 and he rose through the ranks to make the A team at 17 in 1999.

This started an unbroken run of 21 years in the club’s highest team, which included three years continued playing while at university in Winchester.

Edwards has been without question the most successful player in the North Somerset League over the past 15 years with an unrivalled number of wins, playing as number one string for the majority.

This included three complete unbeaten seasons from 2010-2012 and a run of over 100 wins in a row spread over four years.

Edwards was a key reason for the club’s record achievement of 12 division one titles in a row from 2004-16 and he has also coached voluntarily with the junior club for 15 years helping a number of young Uphill players progress through the system.

He has also been the club treasurer for over 10 years, another vital and time consuming job on behalf of the club, and in recent years Edwards has set up a new local badminton club aimed initially at beginners and new players to the sport.

This venture has taken off in recent years and now boasts multiple nights and venues and local league teams giving playing opportunities to masses of players from the local area.

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