W. GAVIN DEANE-WAKE 1961-2021.

9th Nov 2021

It is with profound sadness we report that on Saturday 23rd October, having just played a convivial & successful round of golf at Braintree GC, Gavin collapsed & died.


An RGS Newcastle junior schoolboy & South North member from the late 1960's, Gavin was active in all aspects of school life especially sport. A good rugby player he played for the school 1st XV in the 6th form & proudly claimed that at one point he managed to keep future England international Jonathan Webb out of the team !


Gavin represented all the RGS senior school cricket X1's & the 1st X1 for 3 years from the 5th form. He also represented a Newcastle City X1 in 1975 & Northumberland County Schools as an U16 & U19. NOVO recalls he 'became a batting stalwart' in 1978. He received full cricket colours in 1979, scoring 91 v Perse School, 50 v Magdalen, 40 v Newport & 37 v Wrekin on the East Anglian tour.


In 1980, his U6 year, he became a Senior Prefect, was House Captain of Eldon & captained the cricket 1st X1: his highlights included 63 v St Bees; 3-29 v Durham School & a 'painful' 59 in 3 hours v Pocklington.


The NOVO report of the Cambridge Tour that year recalls" The fundamental principles of a tour of any kind are never strictly adhered to as our captain Gavin Wake showed us on the first night. As we travelled down, it rained all Sunday, Monday's game was cancelled & ...... recovery became possible."


At South North he was a young member of the successful U17 X1 in 1977 that won the League & Friarside Cup alongside Michael Robinson, Mike Anderson, Richard Calvert, Mick Thompson, Michael Wardropper, Steve Bell, Paul Scott, Jimmy Ryan, Mark Dolder, Chris Campbell & Gary Young.


Gavin played for South North 1st X1 principally in the 1981-1984 period. His high point was in 1983 when he opened for the 1st X1 scoring 373 runs at 28.69, high score 68 v Morpeth. This included facing future West Indian Test fast bowler Courtney Walsh at Tynedale, top scoring with 39. In that game his sense of humour emerged as he watched Nigel Wardropper play & miss repeatedly when facing Courtney & was in tears at the end of the over!


In 1983 he captained Newcastle University CC 1st X1. He was awarded his colours by the University CC & organised the inaugural & subsequent tours to Holland.


Although he left the NE Gavin always kept in touch with his RGS friends & often visited to see his Mum & to play golf on the SNCC VP days. Striking the ball magnificently, a smile would emerge as his drive sailed down the middle of the fairway. It was always a pleasure to see him.


Gavin's willingness to help others was epitomised by his participation in the Great North Run of 2014 to raise funds for Ovarian Cancer Action in memory of a close friend's wife. He enjoyed a challenge, problem solving & teamwork, all with a smile.


Gavin wrote an article for Novocastrian News, the forerunner of the ONA magazine, which appeared in the Spring 1981 edition entitled ' RGS Cricket A Personal Viewpoint'. Former MIC Cricket, Oliver Edwards reflected " What a lovely article! Intelligent, well written, affectionate & heartfelt- the RGS at its best", just like Gavin.


We send our heartfelt condolences to Joanne, daughter Ellie, sons Lewis & Alistair & all his family. We shall miss him. This all so sad & much too soon. We will find a way to remember him in the NE as we did for Nigel Wardropper just over 12 months ago.


Clean cars & shiny shoes please.


Duncan....... with help from Gavin's RGS 1980 friends.

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