Golf challenge tribute to 'amazing' dad

Torbay Weekly

Three brothers -  and their mum - completed a golfing challenge as a tribute to their 'amazing Dad' and well-known local sporting figure.

Dave Needham died early in the New Year. His family are still trying to come to terms with their sudden and sad loss.

But this week sons and brothers Shaun, Matthew and Chris took part in a 'From Dawn Till Dusk' golf day to raise money for their dad's favourite charity, the Devon Air Ambulance.

Pete would have joined his brothers but he was laid low with illness - so mum Anne made up the foursome instead.

Dave was known by the family as the Colonel because of his military background.

At 16, his mother and father moved to Nigeria when his dad was transferred from the Metropolitan Police to be made ‘Chief of the Police’ in Nigeria. Dave joined them to eventually take up his first job as a news reporter for the local paper

On his return to the UK in 1962, he joined the Metropolitan Police aged 19, and served with distinction for four years, leaving in 1966.

He then decided to join the Royal Marines as a Young Officer. He successfully completed YO training and became a Captain with 40 Commando Royal Marines as Bravo Company 6 Troop Officer/Boss. During his time as a troop officer, he also commanded a recruit troop through training at Lympstone and deployed Operationally to Aden, and was then stationed in Singapore.

He was passionate about cricket and having played  for Lagos and Hertfordshire he soon found himself representing the Navy and combined services at cricket.

Dave and Anne married in  1970. He decided to leave the Royal Marines in 1971 to start a family.

Dave owned a grocer’s shop in Countess Wear in Exeter for a few years before joining the Prudential. He worked his way up to become an Area Manager which brought about a family move to Somerset in 1980. After five years, he retired from the Prudential and moved the family to Torquay. With Anne's nursing experience, they set up and managed an old people’s home in St Marychurch. After 12 years they semi-retired.

Dave still did some work for an insurance company and then started working as a school’s transport escort working for the local authorities.

He was Torquay Golf Club Captain in 2003 and a well-known cricketer with Barton, Cockington Corries and Torquay.

His sons also made a huge success of careers in the military. Shaun is a former Warrant Officer in the Royal Marines, Pete is Captain in the 24 Commando based at Chivenor, Chris is a Captain in the 39 Engineers Regiment based at Kinloss, Scotland, and Matt is a Regiment Sergeant Major in the 26 Engineer Regiment based at Tidworth.

The challenge took place at East Devon Golf Club which was Dave's favourite course.

More than £1,000 has been raised so far. Donations can be made here