John France (1957-2019)

It is with great sadness that we report the death on Sunday, 17th March, of John France, a much-liked member of Gosforth Chess Club. He was 61 and had been seriously ill for some months.

A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, 2nd April, 12:45pm, at St. John the Baptist Church, Grainger St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5JG (near Newcastle Central Station). (Reception afterwards at the Royal Station Hotel)

John was widely known as one of the friendliest, warmest people on the local chess scene, who would always have a kind word of encouragement for young players.

He served for some time as secretary of Gosforth Chess Club, and was a keen club, league and congress player in recent years. When he became ill, he donated many of his extensive collection of chess books to Forest Hall Chess Club, with the wish that they provide enjoyment and instruction for a new generation of players.

A devoted family man, he became more active as a chess player over the last decade after playing guitar in a popular local band, The Katy Freeway, under the stage name Dusty Roads, for several years.

John is survived by his partner Val, and his children Alice, Lizzie and Tom.

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