Tributes paid to former SportsAble chairman

Tributes paid to former SportsAble chairman

Lucy Golding

Tributes paid to former SportsAble chairman

A former SportsAble chairman with a passion for archery and bridge has died at the age of 81.

Yvonne Abbott, one of the five ladies to set up Maidenhead's Five Aces Bridge Club, will be remembered by family and friends for her 'stoic' nature and 'resilience,' despite dealing with mobility problems throughout her life.

In her twenties, the mother-of-two and wife to Colin, developed a cyst on her spine.

By the early 1980s Yvonne was wheelchair-bound but refused to let her disability stop her from enjoying a wide-range of interests.

As a young woman she moved to Berkshire from Lancashire to attend Reading University, where she studied horticulture.

She married Colin, then a scientist in 1964, and the couple moved to Bartletts Lane in Holyport on the day that England won the World Cup.

The avid-cricket lover and fan of the outdoors and mountaineering also worked as a biology teacher.

She primarily taught children from home as well as those with behavioural difficulties and later taught English as a foreign language.

In the seventies Yvonne became a member of SportsAble in Braywick Road, then known as WAMDSAD, where she exercised her passion for archery.

In 1981 she was made club chairman.

As well as Five Aces, the first non-smoking bridge club in the Berkshire area which started 27 years ago, the talented player also set up a similar club at SportsAble.

Yvonne (front left) and her bridge friends in the early nineties


Both bridge clubs are still running today.

SportsAble's current president John Jenkins, who was on the committee when Yvonne took the helm, said: "She was a lovely lady, very straight talking and positive."

As well as SportsAble Yvonne volunteered at the Oxfam shop in Maidenhead and helped out with Holyport Girl Guides.

She leaves behind daughter Vivienne and son Neil. 

Vivienne, who lives in Tanzania, said: "She was very outgoing and social, very smart and sharp.

"She coped with her disability very well."

Yvonne passed away on Saturday, February 8.

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