Tributes to Clive

PUBLISHED: 10:17 13 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:43 06 May 2010

Tributes were paid at a thanksgiving service at St Nicholas Church, Harpen-den, on Monday, for Clive Harkett, who died at his Harpenden home on October 24. Maurice Palmer, a lifelong friend, said: The size of the congregation here today is a testament t

Tributes were paid at a thanksgiving service at St Nicholas' Church, Harpen-den, on Monday, for Clive Harkett, who died at his Harpenden home on October 24.

Maurice Palmer, a lifelong friend, said: "The size of the congregation here today is a testament to the respect and affection in which he was held."

Represented were golf and rugby clubs throughout Hertfordshire, neighbouring counties and farther afield, with whom Clive had been involved over the years in his roles as president and secretary of Herts Golf Union, captain of Welwyn Garden City Golf Club, president of Herts Artisans and captain and president of Welwyn Rugby Club. Also present were former colleagues from ICI Plastics Division by whom he was employed for 35 years.

The family mourners were Clive's daughter Karen, son-in-law Jim and grandchildren Toby and Tansy.

A delayed flight from America prevented former Open champion Nick Faldo from being at the service but his own tribute which he had sent earlier praising Clive's friendship, support and generosity to him as a young rookie was read out by Mr Palmer. Representing Nick were his parents George and Joyce.

It was at the age of 11 that Maurice Palmer first met Clive, playing against him in schools rugby in Wales, where they were born. They became firm friends and played together for the Pembrokeshire Under 15s and senior schools side. Clive also represented the school at cricket.

Now a member of Gog Magog Golf Club in Cambridgeshire, he said over the years he and Clive had spent many weekends together watching the Welsh Rugby XV international matches, the last being in Rome five years ago.

Recalling one match after a Welsh defeat, Clive dropped a bottle of champagne at the airport on their return: "As everyone freezes, without hesitation Clive raises his arm imperiously and declares 'I name this airport Stansted'.

"As well as being a hugely out-going character he was also a devoted family man," said Mr Palmer. "He and his wife Peggy were a most endearing and enduring partnership. Following Peggy's death barely two years ago, Clive never really recovered from the loss.

"Let us remember with great affection Clive Harkett, sportsman, golf administrator, bon viveur, raconteur, father, grandfather, friend of everyone and one of the kindest, most generous and best men I have ever known."

The service was conducted by Rev Elizabeth Inall, of All Saints Church, Harpenden. Donations were requested for Mencap. Earlier, a private cremation service had been held and, after the service, a reception followed at Welwyn Rugby Club.

NICK FALDO'S tribute to Clive Harkett.

"Clive was a real inspiration to me as a young golfer and he was someone who truly recognised the importance of building junior golf. He was a great confidant when times were hard and I always appreciated his advice. I was just one of the young people that were helped by Clive and benefited from his passion for the game and for life.

"He was a great supporter of Welwyn Garden City Golf Club and it was his friendship, support and generosity that helped me as a young rookie during that all-important first year on Tour.

"I remember when I first beat Clive in the Club Championship, I think it was 4&3, and he said that was the last time he would ever play against me.

"Clive will be sadly missed and I will always have fond memories of him and the time that we spent together both on and off the course.

"My thoughts go out to all his friends and family.

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