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Wellesbourne's a poorer place without sports-loving Ernie Wilson

TRIBUTES have poured in for a popular Wellesbourne character who loved sport, politics and current affairs, as well as his customary afternoon tea every Monday.

Ernie ‘Ern’ Wilson died at Warwick Hospital aged 93 on 22nd May and more than 100 people attended the service of thanksgiving on 8th June as well as the celebration that followed at Wellesbourne Cricket Club.

Ernie Wilson. (57320625)
Ernie Wilson. (57320625)

Ernie was such a popular figure that there were many tributes to his love of people and sport by his friends at the cricket club, Stratford Oaks Golf Club, neighbours at the Dovehouse and people from Essex, Yorkshire and Cornwall.

Peter Bowen, who has known the Wilson family for 20 years, said: “Ern never said a bad word about anyone or anything. He was a gentleman in the true sense of the word and recognised as caring and sociable by everyone who knew him, but with an endearing sense of humour. He had an interest in politics, current affairs and an active social life, meeting up with neighbours at the Dovehouse for afternoon tea on every Monday, and lunch later in the week.”

Ernie was a popular figure at the Oaks Golf Club and at the cricket club, where he enjoyed watching grandsons Gary and Jamie hit boundaries with the family dog Chip by his side.

He was a favourite with visitors and the opposition alike for his love of the game but also for the many jokes and stories about sport.

He moved to Wellesbourne after leaving Dagenham in 2006 with his wife Rene to be closer to his daughter, Lesley Maynard, and Gary and Jamie. Sadly, Rene passed away five years years later.

Ernie Wilson and Chip on the boundary at Wellesbourne Cricket Club. (57320623)
Ernie Wilson and Chip on the boundary at Wellesbourne Cricket Club. (57320623)

Ernie was also a competitive golfer. He was a founder member of the Ford Golf Club, member of the Orsett Golf Club in Essex, and also a life-long West Ham United fan. He claimed the team saved his life in 1949 as he had time off from his work on a gun pit in Hammersmith to watch a home game, missing the afternoon explosion that killed his friend. “I should have been with him,” he said.

The congregation left the service of thanksgiving to the tune of I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.

Peter added: “The world is a much poorer place without Ernie. But without question, Wellesbourne’s a better place for having him in it.”

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