30th of October 2020
Our Deepest Sympathy - David Morris - 21 November 1948 – 28th October 2020All at the Basingstoke Bison are deeply saddened and shocked to learn yesterday evening of the sad news of the passing of David Morris and would like to pass on our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers to his wife Caroline, their children Sandra and Graeme and all the family at this difficult time.
David was more than just a fan of the Senior team but embraced the sport at all levels and all disciplines from timekeeping for the Buffalo, watching his grandchildren play for the Junior Bison academy to his time spent working in the sport of roller hockey.
The family have very kindly composed the following words to give us a flavour of the true gent that Basingstoke Hockey have lost.
Ice hockey in Basingstoke lost a bit of a legend this week. David Morris, that noisy bloke in Block C has left this world for pastures new. Although Bison fans will only know him from the stands, over the life of hockey in Basingstoke, David has played many roles behind the scenes in our great club.
As a family, the Morris’s saw the inaugural game and there and then bought the very first family season ticket sold.
From those early days of the Beavers, David was part of the Supporters Club, organising travel, merchandise and of course selling 50/50 tickets.
When the first second team was formed (the Bulldogs), David was there to watch as many
games as he could and as they folded and the eventual Basingstoke Buffalo came into fruition, being David he offered his services and became their timekeeper which he did until the end of the last game Buffalo played earlier this year prior to lockdown and the early culmination of the ice hockey season.
David was also known to time keep for Bison in times of emergency. He also kept stats – lots of stats and these have been used by the clubs on lots of occasions, especially in the last few seasons when he helped his wife Caroline edit the Bison match night programme.
But David was not just involved with ice hockey, his son Graeme took up roller hockey and as a family they watched all the games – until the day the club (Winchester Kings) asked David to become an official for the club as a referee. He did this for quite a few years including becoming head referee for the BRHA and being on the disciplinary committee.
To quote one of the former Winchester Kings “I’m lost for words because I had no idea. What a lovely fella! I have so many fond memories and some of my favourite are back when he was reffing and he would call a penalty on Young Morris..... I always chuckled when I would hear him holla ‘MORRIS!!! 2 mins for (whatever Graeme was up to)’. I still chuckle at the thought now”. David retired from the game, but still kept up his interest in the game.
David’s support for his teams was second to none and being the quiet gentle giant he was, he spent this last season, training up new timekeepers for the Buffalo as well as supporting his favourite team the Bison both home and away and taking part in many of the coach trips the club ran last season.
Since the sad news of David’s passing, there have been many tributes from members of the Bison hockey family
Neil Leary, Captain of the Basingstoke Buffalo posted the following on hearing of David’s passing,
“I’m saddened to hear of the passing of David Morris a long time part of the Basingstoke hockey family from when I started in the juniors right up to the bison and many many years the time keeper for the buffalo a true gentleman and will be very much missed my personal thoughts and as captain of the buffalo on behalf of the team go out to Caroline Sandra and Graham at this time”!!!
Chairman of the Junior Bison Stewart Tempest had the following to say,
” Sad sad news, David was a much respected member of the Basingstoke ice hockey family. A long time fan and off ice official of the Beavers, Bison, Buffalo and junior hockey. David was also a committee member of the Ice Users Forum, a great sounding board, offering sage well considered advice. Our thoughts go out Caroline, Sandra and Graham at this sad time. Rest Easy David”.
Bison’s John Neville commenting on the sad news said,
“David was such a gentleman, kind, full of wit and personality and always had time for everyone, he was always keen to have a chat and if necessary a debate about our wonderful sport, the hockey family really has lost a true friend”.
David will be sorely missed by all the ice hockey family and he will always be remembered fondly by us all as one of the hockey family.