10 June 2021

We would like to share with you a statement from one of our Co-Founders, Tony Jameson-Allen.

After 10 years with Sporting Memories I’ve decided it’s time to hang up my boots and take life a bit easier.

It’s a little strange knowing what to write as there’s been so much happening since 2011 and due to our geographical spread, there are members of the team I’ve never managed to meet up with along with many brilliant volunteers, without whom Sporting Memories could never have reached out and supported so many people.

There have been many highlights and opportunities along the way, meeting and working with some remarkable people, including sporting legends and incredible broadcasters. It’s impossible to pick out particular favourite memories, working on the Radio 5 Live 90 minute sports special with Eleanor Oldroyd, Alan Shearer’s Football, Dementia and Me and dropping into Talksport to chat on the Hawksbee & Jacobs show was always real fun, whilst helping us get our message out and raise our profile.

A special place in my heart will always be the times spent with Baroness Rachael Heyhoe Flint. Despite her ill health, Rachael became an ambassador for Sporting Memories and took it upon herself to organise a fund raising dinner in the Long Room at Lord’s Cricket Ground. Sadly it became an evening to celebrate her life as she passed away before it could take place. But boy was it a fun evening and her friends made sure it was one everyone would remember. It is fitting that not only is there a Rachael Heyhoe Flint trophy currently being played for by the country’s top women cricketers, but that Lord’s Cricket Ground are planning a suitable way of commemorating her impact on the game by way of a statue.

A huge thank you to the many journalists and broadcasters who really ‘get’ what Sporting Memories is all about and are always willing to discuss ideas for articles and features, special mentions in particular to Henry Winter, Jim White, Chris Warburton, Si Lloyd, Andrew Edwards, Andy Bayes and Adam Mountford, who are always welcoming and put a huge amount of time and effort into making sure the voices of club members and their carers are heard and understood.

To the Trustees, Patrons and Ambassadors and those who have donated or take on challenges, big thanks for your generosity of time, effort and helping with the all-important fundraising events and efforts.

For the next few months I’ll be working up to one day a week to tie up a few loose ends, ahead of moving later this year with my wife to the East Coast to enjoy walks on the beach, cycling, power lifting, golf and hopefully watching a bit of cricket too. 

I was wondering how to sign off, then it struck me, I’ll take a leaf out of Jim Purvis’s book. When I was struggling last year with depression, Jim would email regularly and signed off each email in the same manner.

So if you think or know that a mate is struggling, send them a message. Don’t push them for an answer, but don’t be afraid to contact them. You might not get an answer, or you may get one eventually. It’s highly likely though that it will be read and appreciated. 

One way of signing off is this.“Please don’t feel any obligation to reply to this. I know how difficult it can be to deal with things when your mind isn’t right and I wouldn’t want you to feel any pressure.“

Love and hugs,