Tributes to Whitnash man who was a Paralympic medallist in judo and world class chess player

David Hodgkins at the Chess Olympiad in India.
David Hodgkins at the Chess Olympiad in India.

Tributes have been paid to a Whitnash man who was world class at both judo and chess despite being blind from his early childhood.

David Hodgkins, 45, died unexpectedly at his home on January 13.

During his eventful life he became a silver medallist at the Judo World Championship and won the bronze medal when representing Great Britain at the Paralympics in Seoul in 1988.

He was selected again for the 1992 Paralympics in Barcelona but, after being injured, he later retired from the sport to concentrate on chess.

As a member of the British Braille Chess Team, David played all across the world including the Olympiads in Brazil and more recently in India.

A pupil of Lickey Grange School for the Blind and later a student at Hereford College for the Blind, David worked for Coventry Health Authority, NatWest and finally Apex Credit Control.

For many years David worked for the Braille Chess Association in various important roles and was the organiser for the British contingent to the IBIS tournament in Haaksbergen where he made many long standing friendships.

David will be missed by his mother Phyllis, sister Sally and her husband Baz, and sister Jane and her partner Terry, his nieces and nephews and guide dogs Ice and Enya.

His funeral service will take place at St Margaret’s church in Whitnash next Friday from 12.45pm.