Much-loved Sam will be missed - The Evesham Observer

Much-loved Sam will be missed

Evesham Editorial 10th Apr, 2020   0

HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to Sam Raphael who has died peacefully in the town after a short battle with lung cancer at the age of 81.

Sam is survived by his wife Diana, his children John, James and Robert and grandchildren Lauren and Alexander.

Sam was born in Rutherglen, Lanarkshire, on January 1 1939, the only son of John ‘Jack’ and Agnes Raphael and was educated at The Rutherglen Academy. On leaving school Sam began work at Templeton’s Carpet Factory as an apprentice turner.

An enthusiastic footballer who played for a local team in Rutherglen, Sam completed his National Service at NATO in Fontainebleau, Paris, where he continued his commitment to football playing for NATO. During this time he was ‘borrowed’ by the local RAF team.




While stationed in Paris, Sam met Diana Huxley from Hampton Ferry who was enjoying a family holiday at the time.

They were married two years later, in 1961, at Evesham Methodist Church.


Sam and Diana lived in Scotland for two years, while Sam completed his apprenticeship, after which they moved to Evesham to become partners in Diana’s family business at Hampton Ferry, where they have lived and worked ever since.

In 1966, while operating the ferry boat, Sam dived in to the Avon and saved a young girl from drowning. He received a Royal Humane Society Award for his bravery.

Sam’s love of football continued after moving to England when he began playing for local team Bretforton Old Boys.

After hanging his boots up at the age of 48, Sam became secretary of Bretforton Old Boys FC and treasurer of Bretforton Sports Club.

He was instrumental in the transformation of Bretforton Sports Club from a shed in the corner of the recreation ground to the purpose-built sports club that exists today. Sam was proud of becoming the Sports Club president and would often reminisce with stories of the ‘Bret Boys’.

His son Robert said: “Dad supported three football teams; Glasgow Rangers, Bretforton Old Boys and Aston Villa. If all three teams won on any given weekend, it was always cause for celebration.”

Sam was a keen angler and fished for Evesham Ex-Servicemen’s Club for many years.

In 1990 his wife Diana became Mayor of Evesham for the first time and Sam became her consort.

“Sam loved Evesham, and, while always remaining a patriotic Scotsman, made Evesham his home,” Robert added.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic there will no public service or wake.

The family will attend the interment at Hampton Cemetery at midday on Thursday.

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