Friday, August 12, 2011

Gary Kirkham

With participation in Judo and Sport in decline generally it is nice to sometimes reminisce about the past and the good times and occasionally something jogs your memory. Sadly this memory Jog was not a pleasant one as I have just heard of the death of a former pupil of mine Gary Kirkham who was only in his Mid Forties. Gary was one of a large family all of whom were doing Judo back in the 1970’s when the Young Judo Club Sittingbourne boasted 600 members. The breed of youngsters then was totally different then today’s youth (the majority but not all) they were prepare to travel, train several times a week and most importantly compete throughout GB and Europe. Competitions were not 50 0r 60 competitors they were in there hundreds, my Father Nobby organised a Junior Judo Tournament at the Stour Centre Ashford in the 1970’s which attracted 1200 competitors those were the days. Gary would often be in a weight group of 50 plus, his Mum must have boxes of medals her kids have won. I have not seen Gary for some years but I have very fond memories of him an excellent fighter but sadly he lost the ultimate fight. Gary rest in peace and when you get chance to talk to God ask him to help us get more kids to do Judo. My thoughts and prayers go out to Mum Nadine and the rest of the family

Martin Clarke

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