Donald Philip Noels - 31 December 1938 - 23 May 2023

Don and Margeret

I met Don over 30 years ago at Shepherd’s Bush Cricket Club. One of the main factors as to why it became such a special place for me was because of Don. A few years before I arrived, Don had organised the Black players into a self-organised group that had challenged all at the club to reflect on the way that Black players were viewed, talked about, and treated. This collective approach gained him the respect of all the players both Black and white and made it the closest thing to a truly anti-racist sports club that I had ever experienced and for that I will be forever grateful to him.

We became very close friends as we realised that we shared very similar politics and although he had a wealth of political knowledge and had experienced so very much first hand in the struggles against apartheid, he would never dismiss my youthful, often clumsy analysis of the world. He would always take the time to discuss the bigger issues with me, never patronising, and a fierce defender of his position; I learned so much from him. I was very lucky to be taken on cricket tour to Cape Town by Don where I met some of his lovely family and heard so many stories of bravery and camaraderie from the incredible fighters of the  Mitchell’s Plain Township; another place where Don was overwhelmingly loved.

When I moved to Birmingham 20 years ago I was lucky enough to spend alot of time with Don and Margaret. We saw many gigs, discovered many Real Ale pubs and we went on holiday together and I will treasure those memories. When Margeret became ill with dementia, it was heartbreaking but to witness their incredible love for each other was truly inspiring and although things became difficult for them they tackled the hardships of the illness with the utmost of dignity and dedication to each other. 

My love and thoughts are with his fantastic daughters, Jaquie and Lesley of whom he was very proud, and I am grateful to you for lending me your Dad; and to Margaret, he loved so much. The world that was made a better place because of Don, is that much worse off now he has gone.


Dave Muritu

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