Havering honour club man Wilson
PUBLISHED: 12:30 03 April 2017 | UPDATED: 19:17 03 April 2017
Members attend memorial run and plaque unveiling
Havering Hockey Club paid a fitting tribute to the late Graham Wilson with a memorial run and walk at Harrow Lodge Park, before unveiling a commemorative plaque in honour of their former president.
Respected journalist Wilson passed away just over a year ago, months after son Tom had been killed in a tragic training ground incident, but wife Lisa and daughter Pippa were joined by family and friends, including 90-year-old Freda Lane and Great Britain international Emily Defroand, on a beautiful Spring afternoon to remember.
Runners tackled two laps of a 2.5k course, while others walked the route, before an emotional ceremony in the clubhouse revealed the plaque, which had been commissioned by Maurice Kittrell the Hockey Writers’ Association, of which Wilson was a former chairman, and a pictoral tribute.
Havering club president Pat Johnson said: “I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to come down and remember such a special guy.
“I had this idea while watching the London Marathon last year and we had three generations participating. It was great to see so many who were a part of G’s life showing how you felt about him. G would’ve loved to be here as he loved the camaraderie and friendship of our sport.”
Lisa Wilson added: “On behalf of Pippa, myself and the family, I’d like to thank you all. It’s wonderful so many have turned out to pay tribute to G.
“The poster was displayed at the Champions Trophy at Lee Valley, when the media centre was named after G and Pippa and I love the plaque. It’s made of oak and G loved the oak tree at the bottom of our garden. So now we’ve got this and the willow tree for Tom at Old Loughts.
“Thank you to the Hockey Writers and the sponsor for the plaque, which is in a very poignant place under a photo of the Barbados trip, as we have such lovely memories of that holiday.
“And it’s also beneath the clock, that always had the wrong time! I used to ring the club and ask ‘has G left yet?’ and would hear the phone put down on the counter and someone ask ‘are you still here G?’ and then his voice saying ‘tell her it’s not closing time’. So the plaque is in exactly the right place!”
Over £1,000 was raised on the day and Wilsonspoke of her appreciation of the Havering club and hockey in general, saying: “G was a great hockey writer and he really was a club man. Whenever asked who he played for, he would proudly say Havering.
“The club has given a lot to our family. Tom got a job in a good firm, partly because he could talk so well about hockey, and it was Pat’s idea to hold this event and raise money for Tom’s charity.
“Pat is a true club woman of 50 years and I know G would have been so proud to see Emily Defroand get her first senior cap. Although G travelled far and wide, Havering were always dear to his heart.”
And judging by this special event it was clear to see the feeling was mutual and Wilson will always be held dear in the heart of Havering.
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