David Collins Remembered
Club members who were around in the 90's will remember David Collins who has sadly died at the age of 84. He was not a member and not a frequent player at Southwick - he won two tournaments in 1996 and 1997 but had nonetheless a great influence on a whole generation of AC croquet players through his longterm involvement in the Summer School which ran at Southwick until superceded by the Academy.
Frances and I knew him quite well from his visits to the club; we were opponents in competitions on a few occasions, notably (for me) including one where we ended the game playing in about 4 inches of rainwater.
He had a delicious wry sense of humour and was a thoroughly nice man; but it will be as a coach that he will be best remembered by players of that period.
Long-term coaching colleague Daphne Gaitley said of him: "I was very fond of David and assisted him on the Summer School. When he retired from it in 2001, David (my husband) and I managed it together. I was also on the SECF Committee with him. He was a brilliant coach, a very special person and will be sorely missed by many, many people."