When Alan Lee died at just 61 in December 2015 the world of sportswriting lost one of its most gifted individuals – a man who, in a near 30-year career at The Times was first cricket correspondent before becoming its horseracing equivalent.
But the interests of SJA member Lee, who won both our Sports Writer of the Year award and the Specialist Correspondent accolade in 2001, weren’t confined to matters relating to Test matches and the Turf.
As his son James says: “I was always amazed at his knowledge of individuals – not just cricketers and jockeys, but across all sports. He was very passionate about sport in general.”
That passion has inspired James to set up the Alan Lee Foundation which will be aimed at assisting talented young people in their sporting careers. The idea has the backing of James’s mother Trish and sister Vicky, who works for the Professional Jockeys’ Association. Vicky will be a trustee of the Foundation and help with running it.
To raise the funds necessary to set up the Foundation, James, 30, will be running in the London Marathon and asks friends and colleagues of his late father to support his effort.
Details can be found at: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/alan-lee-foundation
“We won’t be looking to support individuals who already receive, for example, Lottery funding, or grants – but to support those who have perhaps been recognised as talented, but might need a small amount of cash to help with say small equipment purchases, or travel expenses to get them to national trials,” says James.
‘Dad had an eye for identifying sporting talent and watching young sports people develop’
James, who works as coordinator of The Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club – victorious in the recent Boat Race – says: “Dad had an eye for identifying sporting talent and enjoyed watching young sports people develop so I am sure he would have loved this idea.”
He adds: “The support shown towards the Foundation so far has been incredible and I hope that my marathon run will continue to increase the awareness. I know that my father would have loved to have been there supporting me on race day. I’ll be thinking of him on the way round.”
He adds: “I have been deeply moved by the support shown so far for the idea, and the fact that over £1,000 has already been raised.”
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