WEBBA - West of England Basketball Association
Tuesday May 18 2021 
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John Davidson - Former Welsh International Player has passed away March 2016

There are still many players involved with WEBBA teams who will remember Bob van der Meer, the bastion of the Newport club over its last 20 years or so, playing in WEBBA competitions until the 2011-2012 season and usually in Men’s Division 1. Newport joined the Bristol Basketball League soon after its foundation in the mid-1950s and therefore was a founder member of WEBBA in the early 1960s. Bob recently sent the sad news of the recent  death of John Davidson who played for some 30 years in WEBBA until the late 1980s. John’s death came as quite a shock following on from a short illness. His funeral will  take place at St. Johns Church, Maindee, Newport  NP19 8GR  at 12 Noon on Thursday 10th March 2016,followed by committal at Gwent Crematorium at 1.30pm. Anyone that would like to attend would be most welcome and there is a final farewell at Llanwern Golf club afterwards.

Fewer of us will remember John but Bob reminds us that John joined Newport in 1956 in the season when Newport first joined the precursor of WEBBA and continued to do so for the next 30 years finishing in the 1987-88 season. During this time he played for Wales on a number of times along with other former Newport players. Three who will certainly be remembered are Allan Williams (who also played in the very first English national League of just six teams in the 1970s), Ken Orford (who turned to refereeing after his playing days) and Derek Williams (who died at the early age of 45 and in whose memory Newport presented the Men’s Cup which is played for to this day). What a team that must have been in its heyday. From 1988, John sponsored the young team, Pill Hawks, who had just become WEBBA Division 3 champions. Pill then became Pill Davlan Hawks, Davlan being the name of John’s construction company. John, then, was one of a number of more than useful players who came from Wales to play a significant part in the first 30 years or more of WEBBA’s existence.

Basketball Wales is saddened to hear that former Welsh international player Mr John Davidson from Newport has passed away. John is pictured above with Bulgarian International Giorgi Glouchkov who was the first European player to be drafted by an NBA team. The picture was taken at the Celtic Manor Hotel where Wales hosted the FIBA Europe General Assembly in 2013. During this event John was recognised by Basketball Wales and FIBA for his contribution to Welsh Basketball

Kevin Fearon 2014


It is with great sadness and shock that  Lockleaze Basketball Club are now mourning the death of one of their own, Kevin Fearon passed away suddenly over the weekend. Kevin's smile and contagious laugh made him one of Bristol's most popular basketball players, a man who could light up the gym when he walked in.

Kevin was an original Bristol Bomber, a Team Bath Roman and Flyer and most recently an Old Boy and a Renegade. He tasted success with all of these teams and was a true team player who brought happiness and enjoyment to the game.

Kevin's zest for life, his ability to inspire and encourage others leaves both the club and basketball mourning the loss of a true gentleman.

The comments and messages left on Facebook including the Lockleaze Basketball Facebook page are testament to how much he will be missed by so many of his family and friends.

 Kevin was taken from us far too early but we hold dear the memories of our friend and send our prayers and thoughts to his family at this very sad time.

RIP Kevin.

The Lockleaze Basketball Family.


Alan Williams, 1936-2012

Those of us who were around in years now gone by will remember Alan Williams of Newport who died two weeks ago. My own memories of him include seeing him play for Loughborough All Stars in the very early days of the nascent National League and a little later, watching him play for Wales in the Commonwealth Games in the 1970s. Then for years, he was a fixture for Newport in the West of England years and I can still picture the other four Newport players sprinting down court after an opposition shot, safe, in the knowledge that Alan would secure the defensive rebound as the offensive rebounders bounced off him and then speared the ball down the length of the court to one of his team-mates with the power and accuracy of an artillery shell. (If the shot had been successful, it took Alan hardly any linger to send the ball off from behind the end line.)

For the main appreciation of Alan’s career, I am indebted to Bob van der Meer of the Newport Club, whose appreciation follows.

John Rubery


Sadly Alan passed away Friday 18th May aged 76 at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport. Alan had suffered a stroke five years ago and was cared for at the Blaen- y - Pant nursing home at Malpas on the outskirts of Newport. The staff were wonderful to him and he was very happy living there these last few years.

Alan was an outstanding basketball player, firstly becoming involved in the sport during his National Service in the Army. On completing his service Alan returned home where he became involved with Newport Basketball Club where he quickly established himself and showed how good a player he was .He was awarded his first cap for Wales in 1958 during the Four Country Tournament that was an annual event hosted alternately by the home nations England, Scotland, Ireland and of course Wales .It was at these tournaments that the Great Britain selectors soon realised his potential and he was selected as a reserve for the 1960 Pre-Olympic qualifying tournament. He continued to show his outstanding ability and was selected to represent Great Britain in two other Pre- Olympic qualifying tournaments,1964 in Sofia, Bulgaria and 1968 Katowice, Poland. During his international career Alan captained his national side and represented Wales on 66 occasions.

Alan’s first club was Newport but he also played for a number of other clubs during his career, including Pill YMCA, Newport Excelsiors, Newport Royals, Cardiff Clippers and in England, Loughborough All Stars and Vauxhall Motors. He became involved with Vauxhall in 1965 being offered a job on the production line which was quite something in those days. After this he moved to Luton playing in the English National League where playing against the best players in the country, he gained great experience. It wasn't too long before Alan missed playing in those lovely small gymnasiums in the Rhonnda Valley (with their cold water showers) and the green, green grass of home and he returned to Newport to continue playing for Pill YMCA and Newport in the South Wales Coast League, Welsh National League, West of England League and numerous tournaments around the country and abroad. Alan finished his basketball career playing for Cardiff Clippers in the Welsh National League and English National League.

Something not known by many people was that Alan was also a very accomplished football player playing centre forward for Butlins United. With his great physical presence on the field, he scored many goals with his ability to raise above the defence and head the ball home. He also took great pleasure in looking after his team mates should there be a need.

Alan was also very well known around town, working as a doorman at many locations throughout Newport .Probably his last appearances before retiring were at that very popular night club in Clarence Place called TJ's, where he entertained many young ladies with his great sense of humour and charm whilst they queued to get in. He was a true gentleman and will be greatly missed by all of his family, his friends and all of the sportsmen he played with and against.


Steve Ashton (23rd February 1978 – 9th November 2010)

It is with great sadness that the Bristol Academy Flyers announce the news of the loss of one of the club’s founding players.

Steve Ashton tragically passed away during a local league Basketball game on Tuesday November 9th in Bristol whilst playing for Winterbourne.

Steve was a founder member of the Bristol Academy Flyers Basketball team and played for the club throughout its rise through the National League to Division I.

Before this Steve represented the old clubs of Bristol and Bath playing for the Bristol Bombers and Team Bath Romans and was part of the success story at both clubs in the late 90’s and beyond.

Steve retired from Flyers duty 2 years ago to concentrate on his family which was a major part of his life, a devoted father and husband Steve’s loss has been extremely hard for all that know him.

Steve was also a regular local league competitor in the West of England Basketball Associations (WEBBA) competitions, representing various teams from the University of the West of England (UWE) where he also studied in the 1990’s to Bristol Storm and most recently Winterbourne.

Steve was a true ambassador for how the game of Basketball should be played. He was without doubt one of the nicest men you could ever want to meet, he played the game in exactly the manner you would want every person to play and did so with a smile on his face. He was a true gentleman, respectful and a fantastic role model to young people to whom he also dedicated time; working with young players in numerous clubs he played for, helping them to improve themselves both on and off of the basketball court.

Steve was 32 years of age and leaves behind 2 young children and his wife who is expecting the couples 3rd child.

The Bristol Academy Flyers are today without one of the clubs best loved and most respected servants and so many peoples dearest friend. Everybody who knew this exceptional man has been touched by the news of his passing, a true gentleman of the game has been lost in such tragic circumstances. The players, coaches, officials and all involved with the Bristol Academy Flyers send their condolences to Steve’s family at a time where it is very difficult to comprehend this loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his young family.

Bristol Academy Flyers intend to celebrate the life of Steve at a game in the near future, details of the arrangements for this and Steve’s funeral will be posted on the club’s website in the days to come.

With Deepest Regret

The Bristol Academy Flyers Basketball Club

Steve Ashton, 1978-2010 – an Appreciation

On the evening of Tuesday 9 November, 2010, with some 30 seconds to play in a Division 1 match between Winterbourne and Pirates, Steve Ashton fell to the floor, unconscious.

A doctor was present, a Pirates player attempted mouth to mouth resuscitation, paramedics arrived within minutes soon to be followed by an ambulance which took Steve to hospital. Despite all their efforts, Steve never recovered and died later that evening.

Steve was a player who truly graced a basketball court. He played as a forward who invariably found himself up against bigger opponents but his excellent technique, smartness and physical courage enabled him to more than compensate. He first played in the West of England League in the 1997-98 season when he arrived at the University of the West of England. At UWE he began the basketball club and was its first secretary and saw them promoted from Division 3 to Division 1 in a couple of seasons.. In the first years, he was also central to the team as captain, coach and player. Shortly after, he established an understanding with Steve Brocklehurst as coach and even after he graduated, he continued to play for UWE in local league basketball until the end of the 2006-7 season. In most of those seasons, he averaged between 15 and 20 points per game, demonstrating his importance to the team. From 2007 till 2010, he played with Storm and continued to be a very significant player. This season, he began to play for a new club, Winterbourne and so continued his involvement in the WEBBA family.

Steve was also closely associated with the club that became Bristol Academy Flyers. In fact, he was one of their original players when the national league team was formed, while still continuing to play in local league games. He was a key member of the team that gained promotion from national League Division 3 in 2005 and continued with them in Division 2 for a while. Even when he stopped playing at that level, he could usually be seen in the bleachers at WISE shouting the Flyers on. The fact that his life should end so prematurely on a basketball court, the place we all associate with so much enjoyment, excitement, entertainment and exhilaration is unbearably tragic.

All who knew him speak of him as a great teammate and a great friend. He touched many with his passion for the game, his commitment, support and good humour. He leaves behind a wife, Jen, and two small children with another on the way. Our thoughts at this time are very much with them and the rest of Steve’s family as well as those who were involved in the game last Tuesday and were witness to this tragic event.

John Rubery, with grateful thanks to Nick Burns, assistant coach to Bristol Academy Flyers, who provided most of the above material and words.


Rob Henderson, 1939-2009
I have just been informed that Rob Henderson, Honorary Life President of the West of England Basketball Association, died yesterday evening, 23 October, 2009. For several years, Rob had suffered from a heart condition and had been in and out of hospital frequently.
Rob was a stalwart of basketball in this Area for many years and was, of course, most usually associated with the KBI club. He was a founding member of KBI, formed as an activity of the Knowle and Brislington Institute, in 1957 and in 2007, he was at the centre of KBI's 50th anniversary event. Previously he had played for Schoolmasters, a founding team of WEBBA, though this was before he qualified as a teacher himself. Rob came from Bath and spent just about his whole life in the city. For many years, he worked at Beechen Cliff School and developed many basketball players there during his time as a PE teacher.
In the 1960's, Rob was a driving force for KBI, taking them beyond WEBBA and onto a wider stage. It was during these years that KBI played in the Southern League, a premier national competition in the years before the motorway system mad a truly national league, such as exists today, a viable proposition. In the 1964-5 season (I think), KBI was the Southern League Champions and, as such, the team was one of two English representatives, the other coming from the north, that joined teams from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales in a UK Championship held at Dunoon in Scotland. To get there, the team travelled by train. In these years, under Rob's influence, KBI was a regular entrant in the National Cup. And that was when I first came across Rob, as in the 1966-7 and 1967-8 seasons, the Essex club I was with at the time was twice drawn away to KBI. The first year, the game was played in the Mormon Church in Wells Road as that was the nearest thing to a full size court available in Bristol at the time. How different is the situation now.
With regard to WEBBA, it is a measure of the success that Rob brought to KBI that since 1961 - the earliest year for which I have records - KBI has won the Men's Cup 20 times and has been Division 1 Champions 15 times. Notably, in the anniversary season, 2006-2007, KBI did a Cup and League double.
Rob was regularly a member of the WEBBA Committee in a variety of capacities over the years. Most recently, he was Chairman for some ten years and then became Vice Chairman, retiring from really active roles when his health began to fail. Then a couple of years ago, the AGM overwhelmingly elected hiom as its first Life President ever, amending the constitution in order to be able to do so. Rob continued to attend Committee meetings when he was able to do and in whatever capacity, he was always able to make a valued contribution to any discussion based on his knowledge of WEBBA's development over many years.
Outside of basketball, Rob was extremely active in the National Union of Teachers, not surprising considering the egalitarian nature of his beliefs. He was a leading official of the Union in the local area and regularly attended national meetings.
Rob was a family man with one son and two daughters and a number of grandchildren and I personally offer them my sympathy and best wishes and I am sure that the WEBBA basketball community would wish to join me in this.
John Rubery, 24 October, 2009.


Matthew Bromley (1983 –2006)

Matt began playing basketball at 
Clarendon School
, Trowbridge and in 1996 his school team won through to the England Schools National finals. As a junior player he joined Trowbridge Basketball Club and developed into one of the clubs most capable senior players. From the age of 16 Matt had contributed to the development of numerous young players in the Trowbridge area. His sense of humour and love of basketball was passed on to players who to this day carry this legacy with them.

His success with coaching took him to 
Bath University, to undertake a Diploma in Sports Coaching. He reached the BUSA finals in 2004 with Bath University
. All players, coaches and friends will remember Matt for his friendly manner and know that their lives where better for knowing him. In 2005/06 Matt joined the Filton Flyers to play National League basketball.

(Vince Marriott; Coach to Team Bath and Trowbridge Basketball Club)

"Matt Bromley, a member of the recently promoted Division 2, Filton Flyers team, sadly passed away on Wednesday morning after being involved in a car accident. At the age of 23, Matt was one of the most talented and promising young players in the Bristol Basketball area. His sudden departure has shocked everyone who knew him and our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Matt, we will greatly miss you and will always remember you."

(Andreas Kapoulas, Filton Flyers)

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