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Tributes paid after death of Surrey Sports Park "visionary"

Barry Hitchcock

Published by Carol Musgrave at 1:12pm 5th February 2019. (Updated at 1:44pm 5th February 2019)

Tributes are being paid after the death of long-standing supporter of sport in Surrey and former University of Surrey Director of Sport Barry Hitchcock MBE.

Described as "a significant figure in the University's sporting history," and the visionary behind Surrey Sports Park, Barry died last Friday (February 1).

He would have been 70 in April.

Barry worked at the university for 30 years, from 1980 to 2010, first as Assistant Director of Sport and then as Director of Sport.

His roles since retirement include being a trustee of the Surrey Playing Fields Association and the England Squash Foundation.

He was also a trustee of The Shots Foundation, launched by Aldershot Town FC in 2017.

The University of Surrey says Barry "had a strong passion for supporting young people" and was an external trustee of the university's Student Union from 2011-2016.

He also helped set up a pan-disability sports club for young people and their families more than 20 years ago, alongside former Assistant Director Sally Edie, and was a regular volunteer at their Saturday sessions.

He was awarded an MBE in 2010 for services to sport and higher education.

Barry championed the idea for Surrey Sports Park from the mid-1990s through to its eventual realisation in 2010.

Gavin Baker, Director of Sport at Surrey Sports Park, said:

"We are incredibly sad to have lost Barry Hitchcock, who played such an enormous role in sport at the University of Surrey and beyond. The Surrey Sports Park was his vision, and its contribution to sport in Surrey will be his lasting legacy.

"We have lost a member of the Surrey sporting family, and our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues who will miss him so deeply and remember him so fondly." 

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