A businessman who used to play polo with Prince Charles committed suicide on Wednesday, after the recession battered his once-flourishing property portfolio and his health worsened, the Daily Mail reports.Paul Castle was a well known property developer in London, who had a cache of residences in the upscale Mayfair neighbourhood.
He also had a private plane, and homes in London, France, Ascot and St. Moritz, according to the Evening Standard.
The father of two was soon to marry for the fourth time, and friends and family are shocked by his death.
From the Daily Mail,
[O]n Wednesday he threw himself under a London Underground tube train at Bond Street station.
Friend and lawyer Stephen Brook today said the family were struggling to come to terms with the death.
‘They are absolutely devastated and utterly bewildered,’ he said in the Evening Standard. ‘Paul had been unwell and kept having to go into hospital to have these growths removed. I don’t believe his death was anything to do with finances. It was health. This is just a total shock.’
Castle, as mentioned above, had been battling with heart problems and more recently, tumors.
His friend said that playing polo against Prince Charles and accepting trophies from the Queen after tourrnaments at the Royal Berkshire club, made him incredibly proud.
The self-made Castle, who was born to destitute tailor, left school when he was 14 to sell suits.
He then made and lost two fortunes. First he made a ton in children’s clothing; then he lost that money in the Florida property market; then he rebuilt his finances in British real estate; and then “made several ‘disastrous deals’ just before the property collapse and had also lost heavily in an oil and gas exploration firm.”
From the Evening Standard,
Brian Basham, who chaired the White Star property company in which Mr Castle had been a major shareholder, said: “He was a very talented man who worked very hard but he seems to have rather got out of his depth.”
Castle also made the news in 1997 when he hit another player in the head with a polo stick. He was fined and temporrily banned from playing. He said he had been aiming for the player’s stick.