Obituary: JEREMY BEACHAM (7 Feb 1952 – 12 Jan 2021)
It is with huge sadness that we report the passing of our great friend and RLTC Co-Chairman, Jeremy Beacham. Many of you will know the shocking news he shared, with his inimitable honesty and openness, when – just last October – he was diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Jeremy was an authentic ‘local boy’: he lived in the same house where he’d been brought up, in the Queen’s Road on Richmond Hill. There he passed away in the early hours of last Tuesday, just weeks before his 69th birthday. Meticulous to the end, together with his ever-supportive wife Jini he had prepared himself well.
After an education at Westminster School and Sussex University, Jeremy joined the NHS for a life-long career as a clinical scientist. He worked in pathology at Hammersmith hospital, and later as a manager across a number of leading London hospitals including Charing Cross. In 1975 he met Jini, a nurse, while watching a West Ham match. That was it, and in 1979 they married continuing his love affair with international travel and Malaysia in particular.
Jeremy joined our tennis club some twenty years ago and quickly became an active member. Eventually he was cajoled onto the Club Committee, taking on various roles including the poisoned chalice of Finance Secretary. Despite his best endeavours, in 2017 he became elevated to Vice-Chair and then Co-Chairman in March 2019, showing himself to be a thoughtful leader and organiser, inclusive of others. Until late last summer he played doubles several times a week. As a natural leftie he was a subtle, tough and clever opponent and an encouraging doubles partner.
Off court, those same attributes shone through whatever the conversation and, despite that laconic style, you always knew you were in for a robust ‘evidence-based’ chat. Much of his character could be seen in his forensic expertise with crosswords and his ability to break down the most cryptic of clues. His love and knowledge of music, especially The Blues, stemmed from growing up when the Eel Pie Island music scene and Richmond’s famous Crawdaddy Club were in their heyday. Many who knew him well will warm to the memory of numerous tennis holidays shared throughout the Mediterranean, and also those highly sociable Christmas dinners where ‘sport’ and ‘fun’ were enjoyed in equal quantities.
He will be sorely missed by his numerous friends at the Tennis Club, and by members of the other sporting clubs at Old Deer Park who enjoyed his many and diverse interests and knew him as a true gentleman.