Rich Bonsey

Discussion forum for the over-50 walking football team.

Rich Bonsey

Postby Probably Shirts » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:30 pm

Rich Bonsey sadly passed away today after a long and determined battle against cancer. All in the Hawks community offer our condolences and best wishes to his family. More than the rest of us, they will miss his infectious humour, hugely entertaining anecdotes, and straight-talking attitude to life.

For those of you with copies of the matchday programmes from the Hendon and Merstham matches, you can read about his life story there.

Although originally a West Ham fan, on moving south he became a Waterlooville supporter, and then followed the Hawks after the ‘Ville joined with Havant Town. The linesmen at West Leigh Park will miss his sage advice, which he offered them freely.

Rich was a very enthusiastic member of the Many Shades family, and his fighting spirit against his disease was inspirational. Although his playing appearances for us were few, he would attend training sessions whenever he could, and if he wasn’t well enough to play, he would referee or would act as a team manager. He treated every week, every day, as a victory over cancer, as a chance to put a finger or two up to it. One of his ways of celebrating those victories with us was to buy us doughnuts for after every training session. His message was that we should all celebrate our own good fortune more thoughtfully, rather than taking it for granted.

Rich’s support of, and commitment to, the Many Shades meant that towards the end of 2016 we nominated him for Havant Borough Sports Association’s Veteran Sportsman of the Year, but kept it secret from him so that it would be a surprise if he won, and no disappointment if he didn’t. He was absolutely made up to have won it, and extremely proud of the nomination citation. Apparently it was the first sporting trophy he’d won since 1967.

Last summer he was in two minds about buying a Hawks season ticket, wondering if he’d live long enough to see enough games to make it financially worthwhile compared to paying on the gate. He bought the season ticket. Recently he had told Lee Bradbury that he was determined to live long enough to see the Hawks win the league. He did that too, and for his last home game, against Bognor, he was accompanied in the crowd by his son Jamie.

Enough fighting it, have a rest Richie.

Richard Bonsey, 1/8/1950 – 25/4/2017
Probably Shirts
Posts: 1609
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:42 pm
Location: The 'Ville bit of H&W

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