Sat 12 Mar 2016 11:57 Ann Schofield
Scores of local badminton players attended the funeral of one of the Bolton Badminton League’s most popular players. Geoff Williams, a member of Markland Hill Racquets Club, died at the age of 67 after a long illness.
His playing career went back more than 40 years. He taught badminton at night school in Wigan, helping to establish a team in the Wigan and District Badminton League which later became Bridge BC where he played until he became ill. He joined St Thomas of Canterbury BC in the Bolton League and then Markland Hill club, where he was also manager for a time. During his playing career, Geoff coached many youngsters, encouraging them and inspiring them to enjoy the sport as he did.
He was always a great ambassador for badminton and a byword for fair-play on court. As well as local leagues, Geoff played for Lancashire in inter-counties’ veterans’ competitions, in tournaments across the country as well as being in the England squad for the European and World masters’ championships. His proudest moment was winning the over 55s mixed doubles’ title at the All England Masters’ Championships with his long-term badminton partner Sylvia Gill.
Commented Ray Schofield on behalf of the Bolton Badminton League: “Geoff was a true gentleman, always glad to have a word and chat about you and your club. He was passionate about badminton and he will be sorely missed by so many people in Bolton.”
Geoff leaves a wife, Pat, son, Paul, daughter-in-law, Sarah, and grand-daughter, Emily. Donations can be made in his memory to Wigan and Leigh Hospice where he passed away.