"Eynsham Croquet Club announce with great sadness the loss of their Life President, Brian Hitchins who has died after a long illness bravely borne.
Brian joined the club after retiring in 2001, when the club was playing on the village playing fields. He quickly became known as an achiever and when the opportunity arose to move to the Cricket Clubs ground in 2005, Brian was instrumental in organising all aspects of the move including gathering support, securing the lease, laying out the courts and purchasing equipment. Using his wily business skills, he secured sufficient funds from the Lottery Fund which he matched funded through WODC and the parish council. The two superb courts and winter court, along with storage facilties and equipment are testament to Brian's determination to ensure the success of the club as it is today. His contribution throughout continued by assuming the responsibility for all aspects of the court maintenance including cutting, scarifying, fertilising and line marking, no mean feat for a man of his age! Brian was always ably supported by his wife Marion who took on many of the "behind the scenes" tasks.
Brian was initially Treasuer, then elected chairman in 2009 and as fitting tribute for his contribution to the club over the years, he was elected as Life President in 2018. As a player he quickly rose from an being an absolute beginner to becoming the leading club player and captaining the club in league matches and became known by the opposition as a fearsome competitor; his greatest achievement was in 2014 when he won the Croquet Association National "Centre Stage" competition. Always willing to coach newcomers, many new members owe a considerable debt of gratitude to his infectious love of the game and enthousiastic coaching skills.
Brian's efforts cannot be underestimated and we must acknowledge his considerable contribution, ably supported by Marion, to the club over the years to ensure the thriving club of today. Our thoughts are with Marion and their family."