HOLBEACH has lost one of its finest ever sportsmen and sporting ambassadors with the death of Bryan Stamp.
An excellent all-rounder, he shone most notably as a footballer with the Tigers, and as a cricketer with the town’s cricket club. But he was also more than useful at other games including table tennis.
As a teenager, I had the privilege of playing with him in Holbeach United’s Eastern Counties League and Lincolnshire League teams when his powerful left-footed shots and pinpoint crosses were the undoing of many a defence.
In the summer months Bryan (pictured right) turned his attention to cricket, being a prolific run scorer and good left-arm spin bowler for Holbeach 1st XI, serving for a time as captain. But it was not just his natural ability that made him such a key member of his beloved Holbeach teams, it was his modesty and great attitude to sport in general. He treated everyone, including his opponents, with respect and was a true gentleman both on and off the field.
His sense of humour would relieve tensions in the dressing room and his long service to the football club in particular was unparalleled.
Bryan played in the high-flying Tigers’ days of the 50s when his team-mates included the likes of his great friend Freddie Watkins, Joe Price, Dick Megginson and Freddie Fox.
In those days local derbies between the Tigers and the Tulips attracted four-figure gates at both Carter’s Park and the Black Swan field.
Bryan was the local lad who made good and an example to others who aspired to make the grade from the colts teams.
Throughout his sporting life he had the total support of his wife, Christine, whose own contribution to the football and cricket clubs as a helper was much appreciated.
The loss of their young son Christopher was a body blow to this popular couple but their love and commitment to each other saw them through their darkest days and together they made a huge contribution to Holbeach’s sports scene.
Now “Stampy” has gone but his legacy lives on.