Thursday, 8 December 2016

In Memoriam: February 2016

3rd February 2016 – Mark Farren, 33

Irish footballer who played over 200 league games for Derry City from 2003 to 2012, and won the Irish Cup twice with them. He suffered a brain tumour in 2010, but returned to play football, including a ten goals in fifteen games stint at Glenavon before his cancer returned.

“The word legend is often over used to describe people but in Derry City circles Mark Farren was a true legend.The clubs all time highest goal scorer in the league of Ireland Mark, was an inspiration both on and off the pitch. Mark also played with Finn Harps, Monaghan United and Glenavon, but it is with Derry City that he really made his mark both on the field of play and in the supporters’ hearts. Off the pitch Mark also worked with the Football in the Community group at Derry City, coaching many young people and instilling in them a love for the game and the principles required, at times, to turn their lives around.”
Derry City official website

3rd February 2016 – Maurice White, 74

Lead singer of Earth, Wind and Fire.

4th February 2016 – Sir Jeremy Morse, 87

Former Chancellor of Bristol University, chairman of Lloyds Bank, and cryptic crossword composer who became the inspiration for Inspector Morse.

“Thinking was his strong point, and his cerebral style was said to have been a model for the television detective Inspector Morse, whose creator, Colin Dexter, was a friend. His powerful intellect was evident at an early stage – he remembered helping his parents with the Times crossword when still in short trousers. This ability bred a certain intellectual arrogance, although he was pleasant on a personal level and almost diffident about his own abilities.”
Roger Cowe, Guardian obit 8 February 2016

4th February 2016 – Axl Rotten, 44

Former ECW wrestler. He was part of a popular but rowdy tag team with fellow ECW alumni Balls Mahoney. When ECW died, he had a tryout with the WWE, but personal issues meant his talents, obscured in death-matches but fairly underrated outwith, never made it to the biggest arena.

“My hope, for Brian's memory, is that before anyone lapses into the standard, he-got-what-he-deserved mentality, consider that all Brian ever wanted to do was entertain the fans who'd paid to see him and the company he was wrestling for. That is the Brian Knighton I knew as a friend. That is the "salary" Axl Rotten earned during his career. Neither deserved to meet their end in such a sad place. I hope Brian AND Axl have both found the peace they so richly deserved. Rest in peace, buddy!”
Shane Douglas, Slam Wrestling,

4th February 2016 – Harry Harpham, 61

Labour MP who was elected for the Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough constituency in the 2015 general election. He had previously been deputy leader of Sheffield council. He only had 273 days as an MP before his death from cancer.

“The Prime Minister may be aware, and should be aware, that Sheffield Forgemasters announced this morning the loss of 100 jobs in this crisis-hit industry, many of which will be in my constituency. We have had lots of warm words and hand-wringing and some crocodile tears from the Prime Minister and Ministers in this Chamber about the tsunami of job losses across the steel industry. Can he tell me when he will actually do something to support world-class companies such as Sheffield Forgemasters?”
Harry Harpham, 20th January 2016, Hansard

“He led the charge to make the city council a living-wage employer, declaring that "a fair day's work should always mean a fair day's pay." In 2001 he served as Blunkett's election agent while serving on a variety of council committees including Children's Services, Streetscene and Waste Management, and Homes and Neighbourhoods, and he became deputy leader in 2012. When Blunkett stepped down as MP, Harpham beat stiff competition to be selected for the safe seat and in the 2015 election won 57 per cent of the vote. Taking his seat at Westminster, Harpham said, "I will be the last deep-coal miner ever elected to this place. There will be no more to follow me, because there will be no more pits." He was quickly recognised as a hard-working and popular MP. He was appointed a member of the environment, food and rural affairs select committee and was chosen as parliamentary private secretary to the shadow energy and climate change secretary, Lisa Nandy. He also supported Andy Burnham in his quest for the leadership of the Labour party.”
Martin Childs, Independent obit, 18 February 2016

 5th February 2016 – Ray Colcord, 66

Composer who did the theme tunes to Boy Meets World and Dinosaurs.

5th February 2016 – Maurice Revello, 82

French football organiser who founded the Toulon youth tournament.

6th February 2016 – Dan Gerson, 59

Writer of Monsters Inc and Big Hero 6. He had previously written for the TV series Big Wolf on Campus and was the voice of Needleman and Smitty in Monsters Inc.

6th February 2016 – Alistair Biggar, 69

Former Scottish international rugby player who played in three Five Nations, and won the Calcutta Cup in 1970, 1971 and 1972.

“He won 12 caps for Scotland, 11 as a winger, one in his club position, with London Scottish, of centre. He was also a Barbarian, first being invited to play for the world’s most-famous invitation club in season 1967-68, before touring with them to South Africa in May, 1969. The following season, he faced the Springboks again, when he made his Scotland debut against the touring South Africans in “Ian Smith’s Match” at Murrayfield. Smith, like Biggar, making his international debut out of London Scottish, scored all Scotland’s points in their 6-3 win. He scored his only Scotland try the following season, in the Calcutta Cup match at Twickenham. His London Scottish and Scotland team mate Alistair McHarg said: “Al seemed to leap the height of the West Stand to catch the ball before scoring that day.”
Matt Vallance, Scotsman obit, 13 February 2016

8th February 2016 – Norman Hudis, 93

Screenwriter best known for his contributions to the Carry On series. He wrote the first six Carry On films, including Carry on Sergeant and Carry on Nurse. Hudis was a screenwriter in constant demand, supplying multiple episodes to The Saint, The Man from UNCLE and Hawaii Five-0.

8th February 2016 – Margaret Forster, 77

Author of Georgy Girl, who also wrote an acclaimed biography of Daphne Du Maurier.

10th February 2016 – Phil Gartside, 63

Former chairman of Bolton Wanderers from 1999 to 2015. Under his stewardship, they reached the Premiership, and made the final 32 of the UEFA Cup, including a famous 2-2 draw at the home of Bayern Munich. Their greatest days in the Premier League came with Sam Allardyce as manager. Gartside was interested in transforming the English Premier League into a NFL like franchise, a controversial proposal with many fans. Bolton are currently in League 1.

10th February 2016 – Anatoli Ilyin, 84

Legendary Russian footballer who played over 220 league matches for Spartak Moscow. He won the Olympics football tournament in 1956, with a goal in the final. He was part of the Russian side which reached the Quarterfinals of the 1958 World Cup, with a goal in both of their victories, including the goal which knocked England out of the tournament. He won the league five times with Spartak Moscow, and was the league’s top scorer in 1958 with twenty goals as Spartak won the league, just one point ahead of Dynamo Moscow. He also holds a place in history, as the first ever European Championship qualifier – USSR v Hungary, 28th September 1958 – saw Ilyin as the first goalscorer.

12th February 2016 – Dominique D’Onofrio, 82

Manager of Standard Liege on three occasions. In 2006, he took the team to 2nd place in the Belgian league.

13th February 2016 – Antonin Scalia, 79

Right wing member of the US Supreme Court, who had been appointed by Ronald Reagan.

13th February 2016 – Trifon Ivanov, 50

Cult hero Bulgarian football defender who played in the 1994 and 1998 World Cup finals. In the former, he helped his side reach an unprecedented Semifinal.

14th February 2016 – Eric Lubbock, Lord Avebury, 87

"Two years before he set up the Parliamentary Human Rights Group in 1976, Lord Avebury became one of the first sponsors of the Chile Committee for Human Rights, founded after the 1973 coup. We shall always be grateful for all we learned from his integrity – he insisted on the highest standards of proven information – and for his help in furthering what was initially a tiny, unknown group."
Wendy Tyndale, Guardian letters, 18 February 2016

Former Liberal MP who won the Orpington by-election in a massive surprise, turning a 15, 000 Tory majority into a 8, 000 Liberal one. He held the seat until the 1970 general election, becoming the Liberal Chief Whip in 1963, and proposing the lowering of the voting age to eighteen, and lowering the age of consent for homosexuals in line with that of heterosexuals. In 1971, he became a hereditary peer as the cousin of the previous Lord Avebury, and was to become the longest serving Liberal Lord.

He was a long term advocate for Amnesty international, having been part of the parliament group that aimed to defend Peter Hain (the future Labour MP), and used his spot in the Lords to be an outspoken supporter of immigration and civil rights.

He had a strong interest in science, and it's use by governments, and outside of politics, he was President of both the British Humanist Society and the London Bach Society.

He took his grave illness in good humour, with his blog going into detail about his health problems. On one occasion, last year, he wrote that in the morning he was going to see the doctor, and in the afternoon Dynarod were coming over, "for much the same problem".  On another, he confessed that he thought a fun game would have been for everyone to guess his own date of death, only to find his family thought it in very bad taste! Even to his dying day, he publicly promoted the dry humour in the absurdity of life and death, and rallied against the injustices of society.

(some information gained through Lady Avebury, Lindsay Lubbock's press release for obituaries, 14 February 2016)

"He soon showed his interest in human rights, petitioning for incitement to racial hatred to be made a criminal offence; accusing the Portuguese and Spanish governments of “suppressing the rule of law”; and joining the committees of the Anti-Apartheid Movement and the United Nations Association. He opposed American military action in Vietnam, campaigned for fluoride in water, was an early advocate of a ban on cigarette advertising and urged a halt to obscenity proceedings against the novel Fanny Hill. Jo Grimond rated him a quick learner and in July 1963 appointed him party whip. In 1964 Lubbock secured a review of the Timothy Evans case, which brought exoneration 15 years after Evans’ execution for the murder of his wife and baby daughter. To the fury of Tories eager to oust Harold Wilson’s infant Labour Government with its tiny majority, Lubbock reduced the effective voting strength of the Opposition by striking a deal for a Liberal to be installed as a non-voting deputy speaker, thus countering the loss to Labour​ of a voting member through the election of Dr Horace King as Speaker.​ He was one of the first MPs to warn of rising tension in Ulster; accused the Transport and General Workers’ Union of breach of privilege for instructing its general secretary Frank Cousins on how to vote in the House; and encouraged Labour MPs to rebel over the Nigerian civil war. He promoted the 1968 Caravan Sites Act, which gave security to many mobile home dwellers ."
Telegraph obit

15th February 2016 – Ali Brownlee, 56

BBC radio journalist who worked with Middlesbrough FC.

15th February 2016 – George Gaynes, 98

American actor best known for his role as Commandant Lassard in the Police Academy films.

18th February 2016 – Sir Anthony Durant, 88

Conservative politician who was the MP for Reading North from 1974-1983 and Reading West from 1983-97. He retired in 1997, avoiding the landslide.

19th February 2016 – Harper Lee, 89

American author who wrote the acclaimed novel To Kill a Mockingbird. A story about race relations in 1930s Alabama, Mockingbird is a book so good that it survived critical analysis, English class at school style. It has within it one of the great heroes of literature, Atticus Finch.

19th February 2016 – Umberto Eco, 83

Italian writer who wrote The Name of the Rose.

 20th February 2016 – Jon Rollason, 84

Actor who appeared as Dr Martin King in The Avengers, and as Harold Chorley in the Doctor Who story The Web of Fear. He also appeared in Coronation Street and Crossroads.

21st February 2016 – Eric "Winkle" Brown, 97

WW2 vet, considered the UK's finest ever pilot.

"Between 1944 and 1950 Brown was successively chief naval test pilot at Royal Aircraft Establishment, commanding officer Enemy Aircraft Flight, and commanding officer Aerodynamics Flight, the zenith of experimental test flying. Commanding the Enemy Aircraft Flight – a unit set up to capture and test enemy aircraft and familiarise Allied personnel with them – he renewed his pre-war acquaintanceship with Germany. He pithily observed the characters of those he met before and during the course of the war: Werner von Braun and Hellmuth Walter (impressive), Raeder (very mellow), Dönitz (cold fish), and Göring (quite charismatic), Udet (second only to Richthofen in flying ability but out of his depth as head of a technical department), and Hannah Reitsch (complex and a personal follower of Hitler). At Bergen-Belsen concentration camp he was asked to help with translation during Allied interrogations of the enemy. Of Josef Kramer and Irma Grese, the commandant of the camp and his assistant, Brown commented: “Two more loathsome creatures it is hard to imagine”, adding that Grese was “the worst human being I have ever met”. "Telegraph obit

21st February 2016 – David Duffield, 84

Cycling commentator.

22nd February 2016 – Douglas Slocombe, 103

Legendary cinematographer, who worked on:  Dead of Night, Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Lavender Hill Mob, The Man in the White Suit, The Titfield Thunderbolt, The Lion in Winter, The Italian Job, Jesus Christ Superstar, Raiders of the Lost Arc, The temple of Doom and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Among many others.

23rd February 2016 – Johnny Murphy, 72

Joey the Lips from The Commitments.

25th February 2016 – Tony Burton, 78

Actor best known as Duke in the Rocky films.

26th February 2016 – Antony Gibbs, 90

Film editor who worked on The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Fiddler on the Rof, and A Bridge Too Far, among many others.

26th February 2016 – Vlasta Dalibor, 94

Puppeteer who was creator of Pinky and Perky.

28th February 2016 – Frank Kelly, 77

Irish actor who became immortal over here as Father Jack in Father Ted.

28th February 2016 – George Kennedy, 91

American actor who appeared in The Flight of the Pheonix, The Dirty Dozen, Cool Hand Luke and in the Naked Gun films. He won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Cold Hand Luke.

28th February 2016 – Lord Coulsfield, 81

Scottish judge best known for being one of the four judges at the Lockerbie trial.

“As a Scot, a friend of the United States and a humanitarian in general, Lord Coulsfield had to bury his own pain to do his objective job – to determine what exactly had happened, who had carried out the atrocity and bring judgement down upon them. He played a major and historic part in trying to do so, even though questions still remain and possibly always will over the tragedy.”
Phil Davison, Herald obit, 4 March 2016

29th February 2016 – Alice Arlen, 75

Screenwriter who co-wrote Silkwood with Nora Ephron.

29th February 2016 – Louise Rennison, 64

Author of young adult novels such as Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging.

“She was billed as “the Queen of Teen”, and her work captured the horrors of adolescence in a way that spoke directly to those caught in its midst. The humour was pitched somewhere between Adrian Mole and Bridget Jones, and each instalment offered painfully frank observations on young love. Her characters were sympathetic yet never idealised, frequently selfish in their demands. Struggles with acne, siblings and unflattering school uniforms formed the backdrop to the heroine’s emotional life. Much of the time, the dominant emotion was embarrassment – as when Georgia gatecrashed a party dressed as a stuffed olive, or accidentally shaved off her eyebrows. Several incidents in the series were based on Louise Rennison’s teenage years in Leeds, to the extent that friends were able to recognise themselves by name in Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging (she had intended to introduce pseudonyms before publication, but then forgot to do so).
Telegraph obit

29th February 2016 – Lee Reherman, 49

American gladiator.

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