TRIBUTES have been paid to a man who dedicated four decades of his life to basketball.
Rod Beeby, one of the founders of Corby Basketball Club, died on Friday, May 11, aged 65, of cancer.
His funeral was held on Monday at Kettering Crematorium where more than 200 family, friends and sportsmen and women from around the region attended to pay their respects.
Mr Beeby, of Welland Vale Road, Corby, became unwell earlier in the year and was diagnosed with cancer on May 1.
His daughter Karen Bell, 36, said: “My dad was a big man with a big heart. He would go out of his way to help anyone. He was very kind and caring.
“He lived for his family but he had a basketball family too. He was passionate about basketball, as a player and as a coach. He was a great organiser but he preferred to stay in the background and was very modest.
“My dad had so many friends and was well respected by everyone.”
Mr Beeby helped to found Corby Basketball Club back in 1972 and was still playing the game until earlier in the year. As well as being secretary of the Corby Club, he held the same office with the Market Harborough Club.
His funeral was attended by people he had played basketball with for many years and young players he had coached.
Tom Coyne, a close friend and fellow player, said: “I first met Rod in 1984 and we remained friends all that time. He was a very patient man and was dedicated to all areas of basketball – the main teams and the young teams. He was a meticulous organiser and a great administrator. Rod was a genuine guy who had a real passion for basketball.”
Mr Beeby was also a past chairman of Corby Sports Union which organised the successful disabled games in the town for many years.
He worked tirelessly to forge links with sports clubs in Corby’s twin towns of Velbert in Germany and Chatellerault, France, organising many exchange visits.
During his many years with Corby Basketball Club he helped organise events which raised hundreds of pounds for charity.
Mr Coyne said: “In the 1990s he was involved with the Corby Flyers, a basketball team which competed at national level. He was totally involved in basketball, whether playing, coaching, being the kit man.”
Close friend and fellow basketball player Tom Murie said: “He was a mainstay of the club for many years. It was a huge part of his life but his involvement in sport in Corby was all-encompassing.”
As well as Karen, Mr Beeby leaves a daughter Tracey, 42, and a son Ashley 32. He was father to the late Debbie.
He has three grandsons Tim, 14, Jack, aged one, and five-month-old Dylan.