Saturday, 18 September 2021

Athlete and Royal Navy veteran with love for fellow man

IAN ROYSTON PHILLIPS was born on September 28, 1970 and died on June 30, 2013.

IAN ROYSTON PHILLIPS was born on September 28, 1970 and died on June 30, 2013.

He was born to Pete and Nikki Phillips in Reading.

His sister, Briony, was born two years later and the family moved to Woodcote where Ian attended Woodcote Primary School and Langtree Comprehensive. In 1986 the family moved to Goring.

Ian was very active in scouting until he joined the Royal Navy engineering branch at the age of 16, fulfilling a childhood dream.

During his years in the navy he was fortunate to have a world trip, visiting scores of countries. He also served in Northern Ireland for which he received a medal. In recent years he was very proud to have taken part in Henley’s Remembrance Day march with other service veterans.

His love of sport really came to the fore while in the navy, where he set many records for running.

His career as a featherweight boxer was short-lived, however, for although he enjoyed the arduous training Ian soon discovered he was less keen on entering the ring!

On leaving the navy, he developed his engineering skills, specialising in plastic moulding.

Most recently, he was a senior research engineer at Gillette (P&G) in Reading, where he’d worked for the past 14 years.

In 2001, he married Justine Morris, previously teenage sweethearts, and they were blessed with two children, Sammy and Zuzu.

Ian also became a father to Justine’s son Jamie and was a dedicated parent supporter at his AFC Henley matches.

Ian’s love of running continued throughout his life. In 1998 he won the inaugural Goring 10km and in 2011 he won the Henley 10km and was also the first man over 40 in the Goring 10km that year too.

He spent a number of years as an independent observer at the former Huntercombe young offenders institution, where his natural compassionate personality was quickly recognised.

Ian enjoyed teaching cycling proficiency at Trinity Primary School in Henley, where his children are pupils, and he was a regular volunteer at the annual Stonor Run.

At the untimely age of 42, Ian lost his fight against cancer, a condition he bore with incredible courage and fortitude.

His vibrant personality, sense of humour, tolerance and love for his fellow man will be greatly missed by his family and all who had the privilege to meet him.

Keep on smiling, Ian.

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