Last month, those close to Richard organised a ladies’ luncheon, which raised £1,838 for Cancer Research UK. It was held at Le Bistrot Pierre in Stratford and will become an annual event from now on.
His sister, Sally Clayton, who organised the event, along with help from Sarah Pilbeam and Alison Yearsley, said: “Rich would have loved the thought that we are raising money for this wonderful charity, while having fun too. Over 85 ladies attended and we hope it’s the first of many annual lunches.
“We’d like to say a big thanks to all the ladies who attended and supported the event, plus those who donated prizes for the raffle, which was a huge success and also to Neil Hanson and to all his staff at the Bistro who helped make it a memorable day.”
Richard was a former pupil of Thomas Jolyffe Primary School in Stratford and later went to Kineton High School, where he excelled in sport, representing the school’s hockey, cricket and rugby first team and achieving full school colours.
He was also a first team player at Stratford Rugby Club, having risen through the ranks of the Colts.
His mum, Jean Walker, describes her son as someone who was “always positive, never grumpy, had time for people and was still in good spirits right to the very end”.
He was born to Tony and Jean at the family home in Sutton Coldfield in October 1965.
Next month he would have celebrated his 50th birthday and during his lifetime he made friends all over the world, it was something that came quite naturally to him and helped him enjoy successful careers with a number of international companies in the Middle East and in Africa over the last 30 years.
In 1991 Richard met his wife Tammy in Tanzania and they married in 2000 at All Saints’ Church in Luddington — the same place where his two children, Georgie and Will, were Christened, and the setting for his funeral service on Friday, 27th February, this year.
At his funeral, a collection raised the equivalent amount of £600 in Tanzanian Shillings, which was given to a children’s cancer home in the country where he and his family lived, and where his wife and children continue to live. A further £600 was donated to Cancer Research UK.
A celebration of Richard’s life was also held in June at The Pembroke House School, Gilgil, Kenya, which was attended by his family and friends, and which is also the boarding school his children attend.
Richard’s battle with cancer lasted several years and 12 months ago it looked like he had finally beaten the disease, when doctors gave him the all clear. But the cancer was aggressive and returned.
He spent the last four months of his life in the UK and died peacefully at University Hospital in Coventry with family and his friend, Dave Yearsley, who he had known since school days, by his side.
“He was a very positive person, his glass was always half full, he was a very happy and funny man, loved his jokes and his pranks and sharing a beer with his mates when he came home,” Alison, Dave’s wife, told the Herald.
Plans are already underway for a charity in Richard’s honour and it’s hoped an annual cricket match will be staged as part of this between his friends in the UK and Kenya sometime next year.
A commemorative bench will be positioned opposite Lucy’s Mill on the Recreation Ground, Stratford.