Ice skater dreamed of bringing bandy to the Fens
- Credit: GB Bandy Association
As well as his family and friends, the global ice-skating fraternity is mourning the death of Simon Seager.
Simon, 57, belonged to a speed skating family and mother, Lyn Gibb de Swarte, of Littleport, remains committed to promoting ice skating in the Fens.
Keen on cars Simon was a mechanic and engineer by trade.
And latterly had been trying to interest the company he worked for to sponsor the newly relaunched ice sport of bandy.
Simon was co-chair and a vice president of the Great Britain Bandy Association.
As well as his abiding interest in all things ice, after he left school, he was a roadie and personal security for many famous rock n’ roll and music groups and singers.
Lyn says his sense of humour was legendary.
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Simon was also at one stage chauffeur to famous actors including Norman Wisdom.
Lyn says: “He was also a friend of some interesting characters.
“These included the prize fighter Joey Pyle and gangster Charlie Kray, whose funerals he attended driving in their corteges.”
Simon was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2020 and given three months to live.
“A spiritual man he had a strong inner Jewish faith, and sense of identity,” says Lyn.
He had accompanied his mother to Israel where she gave lectures and demonstrations of spiritualism.
Lyn says her son’s love of the ice only grew stronger over the years.
At one time Lyn was a British speed skating coach, and Simon decided that the South African Speed Skating Association might need her services after the 20-year boycott came to an end.
“He approached the embassy and they agreed with him,” says Lyn. “Accompanied by my partner Cathy, we flew to Johannesburg in 1991 and took a squad to the 1992 World Championships in the USA.”
Simon, like his mother, shared a passion to see a 110m x 60m ice arena established in the Fens preferably Littleport.
It would see outdoor speed skating and bandy could once again be played here.
“And that everybody should have the pleasure of being able to get on the ice and skate no matter what the weather,” says Lyn.
Simon celebrated the Millennium on Welney Wash and was filmed on BBC News pushing his mother round the track after she’d started some children’s races.
Lyn said her son “died without pain, with his rescue cat on his bed, his wife holding his hands, and his last words, I love you.”
The funeral will be at Upminster Crematorium March 22 at 12 noon.