Family pays tribute to Eastbourne sporting legend

Roger Addems
Roger Addems

The family of popular sporting legend Roger Addems have spoken of their heartbreak after his sudden death last week.

Roger passed away in the Pevensey Ward at Eastbourne DGH on Thursday just days after being diagnosed with acute leukaemia. He was 75.

Warm accolades have flooded in from the town’s sporting circuit and Roger’s wife Lorraine and his four children have paid tribute to the “warm, gentle, loving, strong, supportive family man regarded as a gentleman by all”.

Born and bred in Welling, Roger was a branch manager for NatWest Bank in London but moved to Eastbourne with his first wife Mary and their children Sarah and Stuart in 1978. He ran two hotels in St Aubyn’s Road and one in Upperton Road with Mary.

In his spare time Roger became involved with MacMillan Rangers, a Sunday football team he ran with Paul Dallaway which paved the way for his involvement with Eastbourne Town and ultimately the Saffrons and his lifelong friendship with Roger Cooper.

He went on to manage Eastbourne Town and was instrumental in the development of the Saffrons Sports Ground.

Roger Addems SUS-180918-145321001

Roger Addems SUS-180918-145321001

When Mary passed away, Roger sold the hotels and began Selwyn Construction, the company he ran with Stuart for more than 20 years.

He met and married Lorraine in 1984 and they had two sons, Ben and Tom.

Together the couple enjoyed horse racing and greyhound racing, were part owners and members of the Elite Racing Club.

As well as watching racing, he was an avid Charlton Athletic fan and loved spending time with his family including his five grandchildren.

Roger Addems MAYOAK0003418608

Roger Addems MAYOAK0003418608

Sarah said, “He was a very supportive father, a proud man and strong.

Stuart added, “Dad had an aura about him that made people want to stop and listen to what he had to say. Nobody wanted to disappoint him.

“He was also incredibly loyal.”

Roger’s funeral is at St Mary’s Church, Willingdon, on Friday September 28 at 2pm.

Family flowers only with donations to the Pevensey Unit or Demelza Hospice Care for Children, through Hailsham Funeral Services, 11 Station Road, Hailsham, BN27 2BE.

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