It is with great sadness that we must report that George Walker has passed away peacefully at a local hospice close to his home.
George was an old boy of King's leaving the school in the early 1950s and although his playing career was shorter than he would have liked owing to a shoulder injury, George was not ready to leave the oval ball behind and took up the whistle. He had found his calling and became a London Society referee of repute plying his trade through the 1960s, '70s and early '80s during which time his chatty style, and popularity with players saw him elevated to officiate at several high profile events including the Middlesex Sevens at Twickenham.
George always found time for King's and would often make the time to officiate, with commendable empathy, in games between the Old Boys and the school as well in the annual KCS v A.D. Hein's XV curtain raiser to the school's season. Tony Heins' invitational teams regularly featured players of no little ability including past internationals, Blues and county players who all knew George well and would enjoy his raucous company off the field as much as his repartee on it.
It is reported that George pulled down the curtain on his own career when and a game he was refereeing between two Welsh sides degenerated into a 15-a-side brawl, he decided enough was enough and as he was want to do simply walked off into the figurative sunset.
Upon his retirement from the game, and his work in advertising, and the premature death of his first wife Jill, George found himself invigorated by the purchase and management of a number of restaurants in the Storrington, Amberley and Burpham areas of West Sussex. These venues played host to several, long, lunches where the food and company were enjoyed in equal measure. George went on to become a licensee of the George and Dragon pub in Burham; mischievous as ever, legend has it the second half of the name was an oblique tribute to his dearly loved second wife Marianne.
George truly loved the game (he was also a member at Esher and Harlequins) and remained staunchly proud of his KCS roots. He was a vivacious character who made friends wherever he went and will be greatly missed. Our condolences go to Marianne, his family and those who knew him best.
George's funeral will take place at 2pm on Friday 7th April at St. Mary the Virgin church, Burpham, Arundel, West Sussex . The reception afterwards will be at the Burpham Village Hall adjacent to both the church and (fittingly) the George Pub.
Updated 00:23 - 23 Mar 2017 by Tom Moore