Charlie was one of the most gregarious characters to ever be associated with Chipstead Rugby Club. He was a very successful entrepreneur and an active member of the club, having played at every senior level: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, Fogies and our Sunday team, The Cockerels.
As a businessman, he and his business partner established Simsons Fisheries. The company grew to become the premier wet fish and cheese distributor to restaurants and high-class event caterers throughout London and the South East. His brother, Richard, another Chipstead stalwart, was also a partner in Simsons, consequently a significant number of club members were recruited, usually on an ad-hoc basis, to deliver their produce far and wide.
Many social events and VP lunches held at The Meads were augmented with the finest crustaceans and cheeses from Simsons. Charlie also arranged Sunday afternoon jazz sessions in the clubhouse where, of course, the food was integral. Charlie lived, and loved, life to the full.
Unfortunately, 12 years ago, Charlie had an accident whilst participating in the London to Brighton charity bike ride. He received roadside first aid treatment from another cyclist and was taken to hospital by ambulance. Over the coming days he was recovering well, he was lucid and looking forward to returning to work. Then tragedy struck when he was administered too much anti-coagulant. He suffered a catastrophic brain haemorrhage which left him unable to walk, talk, eat or drink unaided and, as a consequence, he required 24-hr care for the rest of his life. Despite his extreme disabilities he was able to communicate in a limited way and absorb life around him. He had many ups and downs during these years and regularly contracted infections - but he fought them off, often confounding the doctors by doing so.
The ensuing fight for justice for the negligent actions by the medical staff was long and arduous. It was not easy for his wife, Sue, to obtain the necessary medical support to help Charlie – and to receive the appropriate legal guidance. However, Sue is tenacious and, on behalf of Charlie, was eventually awarded compensation after a four-year battle. Along the way she helped set up a dedicated charity, Brain Injury is BIG, to help other families in similar situations.
In the years following the accident he was blessed to have incredible support from those closest to him, especially his wife Sue, Richard and his family, his brother William, his carers and friends.
All those that knew Charlie are invited to his funeral - it will be held at Randall’s Crematorium, Leatherhead on Thursday 15th August at 12.30 and to join his family for the wake at Botija, 2 The Green Warlingham – between 3-6. Please let Shonka know if you will be attending (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that the family have an idea of numbers.