Alastair Beattie: sportsman, organiser and friend to many
(10 May 2006)
Alastair Beattie, the Durham University student who died in his sleep at home in Stockton at the weekend, is remembered by his family and a very wide community of people as a lovable, cheerful, considerate and helpful friend.
Born in Stockton, and aged only 21, he had lived and been to school in three continents, met and made friends with people from many backgrounds around the world. He was easily recognisable on campus as a 6ft 5ins tall, slim, athlete with a regular smile and he was also known more widely in Stockton, among Tees Valley sports clubs and in UK university sport circles. He had lived with his parents, William and Elizabeth, and brother Ken in Louisana and South Africa in the 1990s. The family returned to Stockton where Alastair attended Grangefield School and Stockton Sixth Form College. Brother Ken, exactly three years older to the day, was a student at Durham ahead of him and graduated in Business Finance from Snow College in 2003. Alastair was also a keen business student at Stephenson College, on the University’s Queen’s Campus in Stockton. He still helped out and was well known to customers in the local shop where he had started work as a paper-boy aged 13, and he and a friend organised regular Monday Student Nights at the Moby Grape Club in Stockton. They were setting up a business, Puppetmaster, to develop events organisation activities after graduation. He was most widely known for his involvement in sport, as a player, coach and enthusiastic supporter. He played cricket, rugby, hockey, athletics but specialised in basketball, where his height, speed, fitness and tactical skills came fully into play. He captained Durham University Basketball, coached the Snow College women’s team and also helped to train young players at schools and clubs in Stockton, Billingham, Eaglescliffe and elsewhere. He maintained a jovial rivalry with his Scots-born parents over England-Scotland fixtures and held certificates for his sporting activities from the Tees Valley Sports Partnership and other bodies. His mother, Mrs Elizabeth Beattie, said: “We are just so proud of him. He had a wonderful crowd of friends. We saw of lot of them here, and nothing was ever too much trouble for him to help people. He had put so much into his life, and into other people’s, in such a short time.” Stephenson College Principal Professor Adrian Darnell said: "Alastair was a superb student both academically and on the sports field. Everyone is completely devastated by this shocking news. He never missed a class, was an excellent sportsman and leader, and was the first student from Queen's Campus to captain a full University sport. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family and all his many friends." Alastair’s funeral is on Monday 15 May, 12.00 at Green’s Lane Methodist Church, Hartburn in Stockton, followed by cremation at Acklam at 1pm His family have asked that friends, students and others who attend, to dress casually or however Alastair would be used to seeing them. Instead of flowers, people may, if they wish, make a donation in Alastair’s memory to the Tees Valley Sports Partnership.