Colin Owen writes:
Willy Stanton was half Irish and half German, and a retired railway worker. He was also the much loved senior member of a long established and gradually evolving group of at least 6-8 core players, who met up nearly every week at changing venues over the years, mostly in London but also Luton. I first joined that group 20 years ago, which is when I met him. It might be a tournament or a chouette, or both. In chouette, when a prospective play was changed to his liking, he would often declare cheerfully: “Much more better!” It’s a saying I will always associate with him.
Helen Helm-Sagar, who won the Brighton event three years after Willy, doubtless knew him best of the backgammon crowd, going out of her way to give him lifts to the Tollgate PH and other places, when he became too old to drive. Less than a week on, she is still coming to terms with his loss, but wrote:
“He was an old fashioned gentleman in the very best sense of the word, kind, generous and had a strong loyalty to his friends. He had a puckish sense of humour and was a mischief maker in the nicest possible way.”
He will be sadly missed by many.
Willy’s funeral will be on 12th September. City of London Crematorium, Aldersbrook Road, London E12 5DQ at 12.15.