Philip Shard (70-75)

Obit - Shard


Philip Shard (70-75) died in hospital on May 31, 2017 after being struck by lightning May 27 while playing a round of golf at the Fynn Valley Golf Club near Ipswich, Suffolk. Fellow players and paramedics tried desperately to resuscitate him after he collapsed on the course and his heart stopped beating. He was rushed by road ambulance to the critical care unit at Ipswich Hospital but could not be saved.


Phil, an IT consultant aged 60, had only recently joined Fynn Valley GC. He was a married father-of-two and had four grandchildren. In a statement his family said: “Philip was a kind and loving gentleman, husband, father, grandpa and friend who will be sorely missed by all.”


According to a report  on the Daily Mail Online, his daughter Elizabeth Griggs added: “Dad was very loud, made an impression on everyone he met and made friends easily. He had a joke for everyone. He would help anyone who was in need, and always had time to see his family, especially his grandchildren whom he adored. He always enjoyed doing artistic projects, whether it be designing his garden, or sitting patiently with the grandchildren to draw and do crafts.


Simon Brock (70-74) adds:

“Philip and Iwere great friends since our days at Pangbourne, though more so since leaving the College. At Pangbourne, we were at opposite ends of the long drive, he at Illawarra and myself at Harbinger in the main building, so our paths didn’t cross very often, although I do recall sharing some classes with him. He was, and remained all his life, extremely outgoing and sporty, excelling equally on the rugby field or on the river in an eight. He reckoned he held the school record for the assault course, which would never be beaten, as soon afterwards it was turned into an all-weather hockey pitch!  Another of my dear chums from Pangbourne, Michael Duck, also of Illawarra, recalls rowing with Phil towards the end of our time there. I certainly remember as a member of the Sailing Top, prior to our move from the river to the Theale gravel pit, that great attention had to be exercised in keeping clear of the eights, or be barked at from the towpath by Peter Politzer, the much feared Housemaster of Illawarra and gifted rowing coach.


Philip and I often reflected on our times at Pangbourne, and I know for sure that he was very happy there, and particularly enjoyed his time at Illawarra. He would often amuse me with stories of the pranks that he had got up to at Illawarra, sometimes coming into radar range of Peter Politzer and being suitably admonished, however he had the greatest of respect for the man and attributed much of his happiness there to the fair and consistent way in which he ran that division.


Some years after leaving Pangbourne, our paths crossed again in London, and we saw each other quite often. Philip was by this time working in the security printing business, having trained with Parker Knoll in order to bring his skills up to the standard required by his father for entry into the family furniture business. Philip was very accomplished, and went on to become a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers and a Freeman of the City of London. He later went to live in Malta whilst doing work in Libya. It was on his return to England that he became involved in security printing, at which time we became reacquainted.


Soon after this I went off to live and work in Paris for about three years, and then in the mid-1980s to Hong Kong, but we always kept in touch. When in 1985 Philip told me he was to marry his lovely girlfriend Lesley, he afforded me the honour of asking me to be his Best Man. On 23rd. May 1985, Philip and Lesley married; they had just celebrated their wedding anniversary on a golfing holiday to Ireland, and returned a few days before he was so tragically struck down on the golf course.


When I returned from my first tour of Hong Kong in 1988, girlfriend in tow, I asked Phil to be my Best Man, and an excellent Best Man he was. My Mother was none too pleased with my choice of bride but Philip managed, in his inimitable way, to charm everyone, and had Mother on side in short order. He was one of life’s natural extroverts, always at ease with anyone, no matter from what walk of life they came. He had an incredible memory for jokes and a terrific sense of humour, and would have us in stitches as he ruthlessly recounted one story after another.


Philip always took his business activities very seriously. He had a sharp mind and a dedicated work ethic and he succeeded at whatever he set his mind to. He was just as dedicated to his playtime, and loved playing squash, golf, skiing, tennis and even windsurfing. More recently, he played a lot of golf with Lesley once she took the game up a couple of years ago so I suppose it should be noted that he died whilst enjoying one of his favourite sports. He lived life to the full, and left an impression on everyone he met; a gregarious man, full of charm, wit and a very naval sense of humour.


Over the past 40 odd years, our lives had their ups and downs, but for me Philip was always a firm and solid friend. Although he had his share of difficult times, he always managed to look on the bright side, to be positive and to lift the mood. He turned his hand to many things over a long and interesting career, from his father’s furniture business to security printing, financial investing, telecoms, car importer, advertising, TV production, smartphone apps and his most recent occupation as Managing Director of an IT consultancy which he nurtured over the past 10 years and which saw him traveling extensively. An entrepreneur and a wonderful family man, he was married to Lesley for 32 years and was the father of Emma and Elizabeth, grandfather to Eloise, Florence, Francis and Claudia, and father-in-law to Matt and Chris.


I attended Philip’s funeral on 13th June 2017 to say a final farewell. It was held at the Seven Hills Crematorium in Nacton, Ipswich. Such was the popularity of this man that the room was packed, with well-wishers having to stand along the aisle by the windows and out into the foyer. Everyone loved Philip, and he’ll be missed by us all.”