A passionate cricketer who was a member of his local club for over 60 years, taking on roles including president, treasurer and award-winning groundsman, has died aged 75.
Fawley Cricket Club stalwart Alan Sturgess passed away at home surrounded by his family, and his funeral was on Thursday.
The club said in a statement it was "deeply saddened", adding: "We have lost our leader, mentor and a friend. Alan simply was Mr Fawley CC. As a player Alan was a competitive and talented all-rounder.
"Off the field Alan held most positions within the club. He was our club treasurer for over 20 years and, since retiring, our head groundsman. He has for many years been the club president."
"The club will never be the same again, that is for sure."
Alan was born at the Pentagon in Fawley on 29th March 1946, the only child to parents Grace and Fred.
As a schoolboy, he loved all kinds of sports but cricket was a favourite. He was first introduced to Fawley CC at a very early age as both his father and grandfather played for the club.
Leaving school at 14, he started an apprenticeship, learning all aspects of construction. He was offered a job with Exxon at Fawley oil refinery where he stayed for over 35 years, ending his career within the procurement department.
Alan met future wife Sue at a colleague's party and they married on 10th January 1978. The couple were together for over 42 years and went on to have son Mark in 1979 and daughter Katie in 1981.
As a family they enjoyed holidays to Devon, Cornwall and the Isle of Wight. They also regularly attended Sidmouth Folk Festival. Sue died last year after a long battle with cancer.
As well as playing cricket, Alan was also keen on watching and attended two Ashes series in Australia and Test matches all across the UK. He was also part of the Hampshire Cricket League's disciplinary committee for a number of years and until very recently was secretary of the New Forest Club Cricket Association.
In 2004 Alan took voluntary redundancy and was offered a retraining package by Exxon to help staff move into alternative employment. Even though he was retiring, he asked bosses to pay for him to attend a wood-turning course.
An avid member of the Hampshire Wood Turners Association, Alan became a member of the committee and took on the treasurer role as well as being responsible for creating the monthly newsletter.
He enjoyed attended various trade shows and did demonstrations to promote the craft as well as teaching young adults at New Forest charity the Minstead Trust.
With more time on his hands due to retirement, he became head groundsman at Fawley CC.
The wicket was so well looked after by Alan and the team that in 2014 they were handed the Southern Premiere League award for best ground.
Alan was a member of the Brockenhurst Manor Fly Fishing Club, becoming a central figure in the club as well as holding roles on the committee.
He was a proud grandfather of four and enjoyed helping out on the school runs as well as taking the children fishing.
His funeral was at Test Valley Crematorium. Donations can be made to Oakhaven Hospice or the Lord's Taverners Ltd (Youth Cricket Group) care of New Forest Funerals in Fawley or online at www.funeralguide.co.uk/obituaries/94028
You can read the original article from the New Milton Advertiser & Lymington Times HERE