It is with deep sadness that we must announce the passing of one of our Honorary Life Members, David Kimpton, a great ambassador, and servant of the sport. We would very much echo the sentiments expressed in the following personal tribute penned by Brian Stote:-
David Kimpton, who passed away yesterday, at the age of eighty, first trained as an architect, but took on a new career in the 1990’s as the full-time employee of the British Petanque Association in the role of National Secretary, which post he held from 1991 to 2004. In his retirement year, he was awarded Life Membership of the BPA for his services and that was carried forward through the British Petanque Federation, the English Petanque Association and the newly established Petanque England. In his early playing years in the late 1980’s, he joined Coventry Petanque Club and was based with the club for several years until he transferred to Half Crown PC at Stockton. David, Natalie Turner and myself played in tournaments as a regular triple for some years, often under the name Peeping Tom, a reference to the character in the Godiva legend.
David knew huge numbers of people in the sport, both domestically and abroad, and was a qualified umpire and coach. He was a respected adviser on all things related to petanque and was one of the most influential forces in the development of the sport in this country.
He was no mean player, having represented England in the Home Nations on more than one occasion and his region, first West Midlands and later Heart of England, from its very first entry into the Inter-Regional Championships when they were held on the car park of the Hospitality Inn in Poole, Dorset, in the late 1980’s.
He and I won the BPA Over-50’s Pairs, held at The Haycock at Wansford, sometime in the 1990’s (records lost) and travelled extensively to competitions in various parts of the country over several seasons. When a Warwickshire Olympics was held, the petanque being played at Stockton even before the establishment of the Half Crown club, David, Jan and myself came away with the medals.
He was a quietly spoken man, but people listened to him because of his great knowledge of the sport and his experience as an organiser. He was a personal friend and allowed me the privilege of sitting with Jan on the night that she died while the family had a short break from their vigil at the hospice, an experience for which I remain eternally grateful.
David was, in petanque terms, a legend in his own lifetime and those who have been involved with the sport for any length of time know just how great his contribution was. His passing will sadden many people greatly, but those fortunate enough to have known him will have a host of happy memories to reflect upon and count themselves all the richer for having him in their lives.