David Sewell died on 17 May 2023, aged 81. The following has been written by David’s close friends.
David was a Cheltonian, born and brought up in the town, and attended College junior and senior schools until 1959 when he joined the family engineering and associated parts business. Over the years that followed, David expanded this into a very successful local property ownership and management business.
Sport was a very important part of his life whether it be cricket, hockey, golf or racing, the latter with racehorse ownership coming in the last 17 years of his life. Whilst at College he had a good academic record, Corporal in CCF, captain of the House cricket side as an all-rounder, and hockey goalkeeper. He followed the example of his father, Jack, into a lifelong interest in cricket at Cheltenham Cricket Club as a teenager and Cheltenham Hockey Club, initially in goal.
Cricket at the Club was his lifelong love, starting as a junior and then to senior levels. Whilst not as talented as his father he was a very capable off spin bowler and resolute and reliable 2nd X1 batsman for the Club’s Saturday, midweek and Sunday sides, captaining many. It was as an administrator for the Club that he excelled, holding for a period of over
60 years nearly every possible post from bar chairman to President and Club Trustee. Highlights being when the Club became National Club Cricket Champions at Lords Cricket Ground in 1970 and 1978.
David’s hockey career at Cheltenham Hockey Club progressed from goalkeeper to being a back, eventually becoming a very popular captain of the 2nd X1, where he went out of his way to make sure every member of the side really enjoyed playing. David was a regular attender at the Easter Hockey Festivals at Worthing in the 1980s. Following his playing days, he thoroughly enjoyed umpiring for six or seven years, home and especially away matches, meeting up with old friends.
Golf was also a major part of his life, as a member of Cotswold Hills Golf Club in the early years at Cleeve Hill and then when the club moved to Ullenwood in 1976. He was a regular in
the ‘B’ team and got his handicap down to 8 or 9, winning his share of competitions. He enjoyed many ‘away’ trips with friends around the UK and also abroad in France, Italy, Portugal and Morocco.
Finally, we come to his horse racing interest. This was also lifelong, but it was his long friendship with Richard Nicholson, younger brother of ex jockey and trainer David ‘The Duke’ Nicholson, that was the seed of racehorse ownership. Around 2005 David purchased his first horse, that duly won at Lingfield, carrying his colours of yellow with red spots.
Over the next 17 years he had many good horses including Oh Crick (Grand Annual Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and a few weeks later the Red Rum Chase at the Grand National Aintree Festival); Sir Harry Ormesher (Aintree Grand National Festival); Montbazon (twice placed at Cheltenham Festivals); Midnight Appeal; Araldur (Sandown Park’s Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices’ Chase); and shared ownerships of
Emerald Wilderness and Notachance. In total David had over 75 winners and many placed ones carrying valuable prize money, mostly trained by Alan King near Marlborough and some by Alan’s ex assistant Noel Williams. Sadly, not feeling well enough, he missed his last runner and winner at Warwick, Another Crick, but was greatly cheered when he heard the result.
David passed away peacefully with his family beside him. We will miss his wonderful faithful friendship and his ‘room clearing’ infectious laugh!
A life well lived; he will be sadly missed.