John Porter RIP

It is  with great sadness that news has reached the WCU that John Porter, De La Beche Chess Club, West Wales recently passed away. His clubmate Ken Huntley has written  this obituary below.

John Porter – an Obituary by Ken Huntley 

I joined the Tycoch Chess club in 1975, played two games and then the club folded.  Paul Headon then persuaded Alan Rosser and myself to join the Hendrefoilan club, and it was here that I first met John Porter.  John was a chartered accountant, and his work brought he and his family to Swansea at much of the same time as myself . We quickly became close friends as we had a lot in common.  John was slightly older than me but born in Penarth, and I was a Cardiffian. Being from the same part of the world, we could relate to many things.  Of interest is the fact that John’s work as an accountant brought he and his wife Maureen together. He was obliged to audit the accounts of the firm where she worked in Cardiff, and their relationship took off from that moment.


Although John’s first love in sport was cricket, he was a committed chess player, At Hendrefoilan he soon brought his son Stuart along to join the club, and naturally took over as Treasurer very quickly.  He also took a keen interest in the running of the WWCL and was a regular attendee at AGMs.  It was no surprise therefore that in 1993 John was elected be a Vice President of the League.  In 2003, John was an obvious candidate to take up the post of Treasurer to the League, and he served in this position for 14 years until ill health forced his retirement.  John remains the second longest serving member of this position. Surprisingly, although working as an accountant throughout his life, he could never be persuaded to take any interest in computing.


For all the time that I have known John, he has been heavily involved in coaching juniors in various sports.  With John’s encouragement both his sons loved playing cricket and soccer.  They both reached a high standard at both and have represented Swansea City at junior levels. John continued to be involved with Swansea junior cricket long after his sons stopped playing.  When I suggested that John might do the same with chess, he did not hesitate, and ran the junior team at Hendrefoilan school for many a year.  Only when school regulations changed and made this difficult was John forced to give this up.


After John’s forced resignation as Treasurer, his persistent illness forced him to spend a considerable time in nursing care, but eventually he was able to return home to his wife Maureen.  He became housebound for a while after falling and breaking an ankle, but over time his health improved considerably.  I lost touch with John over this last year because of the Covid shutdown regime, so it came as a huge surprise to hear that John had died.  Maureen told me that John had spent seven weeks in hospital and died there on the 5th May. Reading between the lines, it is suspected that he died of bowel cancer.


John has been a loyal friend of mine throughout the 46 years that we have known each other, and he will be sadly missed.