Several hundred Club Members lined Loughborough Road on Monday to say goodbye to Tony. Many were wearing club shirts, many of which were clearly family heirlooms, and as Pip bravely drove past in their lovely MGA, we raised our hockey sticks in salute to a wonderful man who had been a major influence on the life of the Club. I am determined that we will celebrate Tony's life later in the year once we have seen off the pandemic. Many thanks to Gordon and Anne for the pictures below, and to all the members who turned out to do Tony and the Club proud. This is exactly what it is all about.
And a picture of how best to think of Tony in his natural habitat at Bobs' final match.
The funeral is Monday 8th June at 2:00pm. The funeral procession will start (1:45pm) from our home on Loughborough road and then travel the short journey to Wilford Hill Crematorium.
Unfortunately due to Covid-19 the service will be open to immediate family only.
We appreciate that you will each want to commemorate Tony in your own way, however we have set up the following which you may wish to contribute to.
An online obituary-where you can pay your condolences and leave memories. You can view the obituary by visiting www.funeralguide.co.uk/obituaries/77974
Order of service - read it here.
Webcast- You can watch the funeral service online, live and up to 7 days following the service. Please see the attached webcast instructions - here.
It is recommended that you test that you can access this in advance.
Online donations- Just giving pages have been set up in Tony's name for Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs and the RSPB. You can access these through the online obituary.
We thank you for your understanding, kind words and support at this time. We hope you will be able to join us in celebrating Tony's life in your own way.
The Johnson family
Tony Johnson's funeral will take place on Monday 8th June at Wilford Hill crematorium at 2.00pm. Due to the current Covid restrictions, the funeral is limited to family only. Family flowers only, no donations. The service will be live streamed and a password will be notified out in advance before the day. Pip has informed us that Tony will be dressed in his WBHC kit and that flowers will be wired to crossed hockey sticks on the coffin. In order that we can pay our respects on the day, Pip & the family have agreed that anyone from the Club can line the pavement from Boundary Road up to the entrance to Wilford Hill. Each person/household will need to respect the social distancing measures and stand at least 2 metres apart. It would be appreciated if WB players attending the line-up could wear Club kit, but all are welcome. The Clubhouse car park will be open but on street parking is obviously limited so it would be best to leave cars at home if at all possible. The family cars should be leaving the Johnson household around 1.45pm - so the suggested time for assembling is 1.35/1.40pm. It is the intention that a celebration of Tony's life will be held at the Clubhouse in due course as and when the facilities are able to re-open, in line with the wishes of Pip & the family.
It is with a very heavy heart and a damp keyboard that I have to write this email. Yesterday we lost our great friend, hockey aficionado, club enthusiast and lifelong great bloke Tony Johnson to the blight that is cancer.
Tony had been battling away with great stoicism, to the extent that many people didn't even realise that he was ill. He was of the generation that found it rediculous to make a meal of illness or injury, plowing on regardless, why would a broken foot stop you playing the game that you loved ... (hockey if you aren't paying attention). The last few weeks have been very difficult as he was unable to eat, but he was able to forgoe pain killers - as you might expect - until this weekend. Our thoughts go out to Pip at this time, and I would ask you to refrain from calling her, if you are inclined to do so, as we do not want her to be inundated with calls from Club Members over the next week or so - unless of course you were close friends and she knows who you are. I hope you get my drift.
Tony was of course loved by everyone who knew him. He was simply a lover of hockey and of West Bridgford Hockey Club, and if you did the same then he loved you too. He was also one of those people who if you asked him to do something then he found it difficult to say no. A nicer guy you would be hard pushed to find. If you love sport, beer, talking to people, beer, hockey, old motor cars, beer, big dogs, balls, sticks, beer, leaning on a bar chatting about Tranmere Rovers or beer, rebuilding MGA's, playing centre forward at 65, umpiring, checking pitches in the Winter, having life long hockey friends, and drinking beer, then he was your man. He was mine.
We have lost a truly great friend. More will be written, as will any details of what happens next. Hopefully we will be able to do something funeral related if not actually attending the funeral, and we will of course have a massive life celebration when CV is over. Until then I will keep you informed by email and the club web site. If you have anything you would like to write about Tony please forward to me as I can collate and forward to Pip.