Tributes paid to talented Dereham golfer Richard Wilson

Tributes to Dereham man Richard Wilson

Tributes have been paid to talented golfer Richard Wilson, who died in September - Credit: Supplied by Richard Wilson's family

 Tributes have been paid to a talented golfer from mid-Norfolk who “enjoyed life to the full.”

Whether he was on the dancefloor or the fairway, Richard Wilson, of Dereham, enjoyed making numerous connections while combining his passions.

Richard William Alexander Wilson was born on June 23, 1975, at the former Norfolk and Norwich Hospital in the city.

His parents, William "Bill" and Isobel, moved to Norfolk from Cruden Bay, Scotland, where they raised their three sons, Graham, Richard, and Andrew, and daughter Rhonda.

Richard spent most of his life in Dereham and attended Dereham Church School, before going on to Northgate.

He was a good swimmer and became a member of Dereham Otters. He also played tennis, but golf was the family game and they would travel all over the United Kingdom for golf tournaments. At the age of 19, he won a year-long golf scholarship to America.

Tributes to Dereham man Richard Wilson

Mr Wilson spent most of his life in Dereham and was well known amongst the golfing community there - Credit: Supplied by Richard Wilson's family

On his return to Norfolk, he worked in the Pro Shop at Barnham Broom before turning his attention to selling cars. During this time, he also sold collectibles from auction rooms.  

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Richard was well-known around Dereham for a variety of reasons. He liked a flutter at the bookies, loved socialising by enjoying a few pints in the local pubs and attending poker nights. At home, he indulged in his love of takeaways, PlayStation, sci-fi films, and expanding his collection of Star Wars figures.

Recently Steph had also come into his life, and joined him and his rescue dog, Mushi.

Andrew, who affectionately nicknamed his brother Ricardo, said: “Richard leaves behind many friends and family, brothers and a sister, nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews. He also sadly leaves behind a beautiful five-year-old daughter and my niece, Lily.  

“He was a very complex character, with numerous traits. He could be kind, caring, and occasionally even thoughtful. Likewise, he could be brash, argumentative, and grumpy. He could be astute and serious, as well as being carefree and charming. He meant so many different things to so many people.

“For me, I like to think he led an almost Peter Pan-like existence, always the first to the party and the last to leave. He sure did like to party. Taken from us too soon, he will always be remembered as forever young.”

His brother Graham, 20 years his senior, added: “He could probably be described as a 'loveable rogue' and someone who, despite his appearance of selfishness, foolhardiness, and emotional detachment, could also be charming, witty, and vulnerable.

“His charm and unapologetic cheekiness often allowed him to get away with things that others wouldn't even contemplate.”

Tributes to Dereham man Richard Wilson

Mr Wilson was a member of the Dereham Golf Club since he was a junio - Credit: Supplied by Richard Wilson's family

A member of Dereham Golf Club since he was a junior, his loved ones said he “lived for golf”.

After achieving a category 1 handicap, he decided to turn professional and won the Norfolk Open Championship at Barnham Broom in 1998. Following his return to amateur status in 2011, he became a stalwart of Norfolk County Golf by representing the first team on many occasions before becoming the second team captain. He won the County Order of Merit title on several occasions and was a keen supporter of junior golf. He also won the Dereham Golf Club Championship on three occasions in 2011, 2013 and 2016.  

Stuart Goodman, manager of Dereham Golf Club, paid tribute. He said: “He was a very well-liked member of our golfing community and friend to Norfolk County Golf. He will be sadly missed.”  

Golf professional, Andrew Marshall, also paid tribute to his friend.

He said: “He was a joy to play against, witty, kind, and a real challenge to beat. He was a great ambassador for club and county golf and will be sorely missed by everyone.”  

Mr Wilson died unexpectedly at home on September 26. A celebration of his life took place on October 21. His daughter has been described as having a natural interest and talent for golf already.