An Obituary to Andy Thornton

Andy Thornton 1949-2020

It is with regret that I have to advise everyone of the passing of Andy Thornton, a dear friend who was a keen SARUM orienteer and lead coach who massively contributed to our sport.
Andy passed away on 29th October 2020, aged 71yrs, after losing his battle with cancer.

Andy as Organiser at the JK in 2002.

The South West Junior Squad was run by Andy for many years and his approach was to make it fun and to introduce novelty. I had the privilege of assisting him and seeing the enthusiasm he stimulated. Some of the squad may remember the training event where they were greeted at some controls by a coach passing out dressing up items. So there was a lad running around in a dress, others with wigs, hats and even slippers.

In 1995 Andy was Tour Manager for the British under 17 squad tour to Halden, Norway. He was also the organiser for many major events, including the JK in the Forest of Dean in 2002. Andy was keen on planning events, including the British Night Championships for SARUM at Hamptworth in 2012.

As Tour Manager with the British Under-17 Squad during a tour to Halden in 1995.

Andy played a major part in promoting 1st aid in orienteering, putting on many courses for SW club members. He became a member and driver for St John Ambulance. His 1st aid courses are well known for their “search and rescue” exercise and the practical content of the courses with helpers realistically acting out the parts of casualties. I still remember us trying to untangle all 17 stone of him from a barbed wire fence while he acted as being concussed.

Andy will be much missed by his daughter, Kate and son, Alex, both of whom were keen and very capable orienteers. His ashes will be taken to Winterslow church where there will be a memorial.

Kate has set up the following site for anyone to leave comments and stories about Andy:

If anyone wants to make a donation to St John Ambulance, as supported by Andy, please follow this link to his JustGiving page.

Ian Peirce, Chairman, SARUM