Obituaries

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Jan Brittin in 1990 European Clubs Championships in Frankfurt 1990Jan Britten (red) in the European Clubs Championship in Frankfurt, 1990.
Image courtesy of Katie Dodd.

The Hockey Museum was saddened by the news of the untimely death of Janette Britten, known to everyone as JB. The media has understandably had extensive coverage of her cricketing achievements but for many in the hockey world she was an equally outstanding hockey player.

Glynis Culley, former Ealing LHC player, first came across JB as a junior playing cricket and recognised that as a talented hockey player she would relish the opportunity to play the game at a higher level. She joined Ealing LHC in 1980 and I had the pleasure of playing with her for the next ten years. She quickly became the rock at the heart of the club first team – she could play most defensive/midfield positions but it was as sweeper that she excelled and where she best demonstrated her exceptional skills and reading of a game. She rarely missed a tackle or failed to pass the ball to someone in her own team. She was part of all the Ealing LHC National Championship winning teams of the 1980s, both indoor and outdoor, and went on to play for Ealing in the European Clubs events.

JB had first tasted hockey success while playing at Chelsea PE College when they played in Europe as National Club Champions and she later gained representative honours playing for Surrey and the South. While she did play for England indoor in 1987, it was a mystery to many of us as to why she never gained more recognition at this level – her skills, fitness, reading of a game and competitiveness put her up there with the best players of that era. Former England and Ealing LHC Coach, Jenny Cardwell felt that she was probably one of the finest players never to have gained full England caps. Ealing’s long standing Indoor Coach, Peter Domone commented that JB was such a huge talent, a great team member and a joy to coach with her commitment and outrageous skills.

JB was a very private person who never sought the limelight so I’m not sure what she would have made of the many tributes that have been paid to her. The many messages and tributes have come from people who played with her, against her or simply had the pleasure of watching her – be it at cricket, hockey or even on the golf course in more recent years. She was admired and loved by so many, she will be greatly missed.

A full tribute to JB has been written by Cathy Harris and it appeared in The Times newspaper on Friday 15 September. A copy is appended to the bottom of this article with Cathy’s permission.

JB’s funeral will be held on Tuesday 26 September at 1.30pm at Surrey and Sussex crematorium Balcombe Road, Crawley RH10 3NQ; then afterwards at Pyecombe Golf Club, Clayton Hill, Brighton BN45 7FF. All are welcome. The family have requested no flowers but If you would like to donate to St Peter and St James's Hospice, then please send your donation to the funeral directors: The Co-op funeral Care 6-8 South Road Haywards Heath RH16 4LA (reference Jan Brittin). There will also be a collection on the day of the funeral.

Katie Dodd
THM Trustee and Ealing LHC

 

The article immediately below is reproduced with the permission of Cathy Harris.
The second document (bottom) is a compilation of other obituaries to Britten from aroud the world.

pdf

pdf

 

Obituaries: An Introduction

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