Warwickshire basketball is mourning the loss of one of its founders and stalwarts John Mumford who has died suddenly at home at the age of 66.
A former Warwick District Sports Awards coach of the year, Mumford lived in Warwick, the town where he had built his reputation in a career spanning more than 40 years.
He started playing basketball in the area in 1968, when he formed Aylesford Basketball Club as a schoolboy, and he was renowned as a tough little player throughout a 30-year playing and officiating career before ill health forced him to hang up his boots some time ago.
He was chairman, administrator and ambassador for Aylesford, the club he ran in tandem with Warwick Grizzlies, whom he set up as a junior development club.
Dozens of young men, who were coached and mentored by him, have gone on to achieve the highest standard of character and performance in not only basketball, but sport in general.
The chairman of the Warwickshire Basketball League, Mike Maddox, said: “John served as a member of our committee for many, many years, was a former secretary and chairman of the league and was a driving force in the development of the game at all levels in and around Warwick.
“His family was immersed in the sport, too, with his late mother and father, as well as his brother George helping, over decades, to make Aylesford one of the friendliest and welcoming clubs to play against.”
Maddox went on: “He was a respected referee and table official and there is little that John has not and did not do for the game in this part of the country.
“A recipient of several awards, he was one of the first to be inducted into the Warwickshire Basketball Hall of Fame and he will be sadly missed by all.”
His funeral will take place on Wednesday February 14 at Oakley Wood in Warwick.