Under a leaden sky members of the club, thirteen in all, attended St Joseph’s Catholic Church Redhill on Thursday 6th December. They joined a gathering of some 300 people to celebrate a requiem thanksgiving mass for John Staddon who died on 12th November after a period of cancer treatment. Following the service the family attended a private burial at Redstone cemetery, and then joined many of the congregation for light refreshments at John’s favourite golf club on Reigate Heath.
John’s enduring optimism was infectious. To quote briefly from his son Simon’s very eloquent eulogy “Dad was a glass-half-full kind of guy”. He always had an engaging light-hearted tale to tell about this or that. Many members will know that on the lawn he became more serious. Occasionally when an approach shot was quite not to his liking his optimism might waiver, he would “tut-tut” and maybe stamp the lawn a couple of times with the mallet and then, of course, he would run the hoop and move on!.
A look into the archives of the Cassiobury Croquet Club at Watford reveals that one J.F.Staddon was their Singles Champion in 1947 and 1948. John always claimed the mallet he used was his father’s. Incidentally his father was champion at Cassiobury several times, so croquet was definitely in John’s blood from the beginning. In the more recent past at Reigate Priory the Creed, Francis Payne, Fuller Buckley, Millenium Salver, AE Golf and Candlesticks trophies all have his name on them. He also played many times for the club in the SECF leagues both AC and GC.
He was always a pleasure to play with or against. Listened to and liked by all, John Staddon was ever the gentleman on and off the lawn. His engaging presence will be sadly missed around the club.