Chris Flint passed away peacefully in his home on Sunday November 20th , 2022 aged 83 years. Beloved husband of Annette and much-loved father of Mike, Stuart, Lester and Poppy. I hope the below words will enable those that did not know Chris some small insight into the universally respected, liked and decent man that he was. For those of us who had the pleasure of knowing Chris, we are all the poorer for his loss.
Chris loved his squash. Having played from School till into his mid-seventies, he was a stalwart supporter of squash as a sport, and the clubs he played at. His squash career began at Wrekin College, using one of those funny little circular rackets that we have previously hung above the kitchenette entrance and will be fitted as a clock. For those of you who have used one of those rackets, you can appreciate how different the game would have been back then. For those who have never used a wooden, circular racket – It is very difficult!
After playing at school, Chris joined Newbridge squash club in Wolverhampton, which is where Chris spent his youth and working years playing. If you visit Newbridge squash club and look at the honours board, Chris’s name is seen frequently!
A few years after Chris retired, him and his wife Annette moved to Rodington, just up the road from Shrewsbury Squash & Racketball club. Chris (as was typical of him) and his wonderful wife Annette (perhaps even more so typically of her!) quickly involved themselves in the life of the club, and soon became well recognised not only for their squash prowess, but also their tireless efforts in helping the club grow and flourish to where it is today.
For example, the viewing benches on court 3 were made by Chris from the old floorboards of another squash court. Additionally, much of the gardening work done outside the club by the car park was carried out by Annette who is renowned for her horticultural skills.
Chris was also an active member in the leagues, and I’m sure many players will have fond memories of games with Chris. Ever a gentleman both on and off the court, his respect for the game and his opponent always made it a true privilege to play him. That is not to say he wasn’t fiercely competitive, and even well into his seventies, Chris was a mightily good club player. I have a distinct memory of watching a game between Chris and a good friend, where Chris got so fed up with his opponent wandering into the middle of the court and blocking his shot, that he sent a friendly reminder up said friend’s backside that you cannot just stand where you like on the court!
For all his prowess on the squash court, I think Chris found the most satisfaction (certainly later in his life) through encouraging younger players into this wonderful game of ours. Squash for Chris wasn’t just a sporting endeavour, but also a social event. ‘Ron’s Chewy Bar’ was frequented by both Chris & Annette on a regular basis in the vital matter of supporting the club finances through the purchase of beer from the mini-fridge; while also used as the room to sit down after a match with your opponent to have a drink. For Chris, this was very much a ritual that should be carried out after a match. To sit down with your opponent after what could sometimes be an adrenalin filled game, and to recognise that there were more important things than winning a squash match. It seems that the post-match drink is in decline these days, which is a great pity as our squash club wouldn’t have the same atmosphere if the social aspect of the club also declined. Chris would be delighted to see opponents chatting and socialising after a league match. Next time you finish playing sit down and enjoy the atmosphere of the club. Raise a glass to Chris and pause for a moment to reflect on how fortunate we are to be able to play and socialise at this great club.
The legacy that Chris leaves behind to all is immense.
Whether in the charitable acts he undertook to help the club and its members, or
work done to help improve the club in some shape or form. That is not to
mention the generous donation made to develop youth squash and introduce
younger members to this wonderful game that we know and love.
Chris – Thank you for all you have done for the club and all
the members. You will be sorely missed and fondly remembered by us all.