"He was more than my coach and mentor. Alfred DAVIES was part of my family and my best friend." That was Olympian Alan WILLS’s tribute to the former Archery GB President who died late last week. (photo above: a young Alan WILLS with coach and mentor Alf DAVIES)
"Without his help and support I would not have achieved what I have and I owe him for my two Olympic achievements, my two World Championship wins and many international and national medals", said Alan. "He was one of the most kind and influential people in my life. Everyone who met Alf said how much of a great guy he was. I feel so lucky to have known him so closely and for so long."
There were other tributes too. Archery GB Chairman of Coaching Tim SWANE said: "Alf was one of the nicest people in archery. He championed junior archery. Without him there would be not junior archery in Britain, at least not in its present form."
Archery GB Chairman David HARRISON said: "It's really sad. I, and all of archery, owe Alf a debt for all his great work."
It was a sentiment echoed by World archery Secretary General Tom DIELEN. He said: "On behalf of World Archery and the Executive Board, please accept our sincerely condolences for the passing away of your former President Alf DAVIES. I met Alf on several occasions and he was a real contributor to the success of Archery GB. Please pass on our sincere condolences to his family and all of the archery family in the UK."
Archery GB President Derrick LOVELL said: "He was one of the true gentlemen of our sport, always willing to help anybody. During his period of presidency he was responsible for running the Junior World Championships in Lilleshall in 2004."
Former Archery GB chairman Lynne EVANS said: "He was an obvious candidate to be nominated and then elected as President. As the Junior Championships drew near Alf embraced the opportunity that this event gave to highlighting event organisation in the UK during the bidding process for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London 2012, it’s noticeable that the majority of the volunteers at that event went on to be Games Makers at Lords and the Royal Artillery Barracks.
"World Archery recognised his contribution to those championships by awarding him a silver plaquette which he wore with pride, ever on the last occasion we met at the 2013 AGM.
"Alf knew how to lead by demonstrating his ability across so many facets of the sport from his unique ability to spot and coach young archers who went on to international and Olympic success, as a manager for the British teams and as an organiser of the Sellafield Field archery tournaments which were shot in the grounds of Muncaster Castle, very close to where he lived in Ravensglass.
"It was a privilege to know him," she said.
Everyone at Archery GB and in the World Archery family is sadden by his death and we send our sympathies to his family and many archery friends. He will be missed by so many people.
World Archery Communication
Tributes by Jane PERCIVAL, Archery GBGo Back