Basketball was a huge part of Ian West Frazier’s life. A former international player, he became a coach and a club owner who was passionate about using the sport as a force for good to help change young men’s lives for the better.

Born in Rochford, Essex on July 22, 1937, Ian was educated at Watford Grammar School for Boys and would go on to found insurance and financial advisors West Frazier Ltd.

He played for the Watford Royals in the late 1950s and 1960s and became an England international, helping the club become Eastern counties senior champions and was part of the team that reached the junior national championship final in 1963, losing narrowly to London University.

Ian went on to coach the Royals in the late 1960s, establishing it as one of the leading clubs in the country at that time, with at least four of their players going on to become England internationals.

Watford Observer:

There was no government funding available for training, travel or lodging for internationals in that era, so Ian would hold fundraisers, as well as campaigning for central funding in the future. He and the team would sleep on the court/gym floors to save money so they could travel abroad for games.

His love of the sport and the club continued as he moved into managing the Hemel and Watford Royals between 1981 and 1987.

Throughout his career in basketball, Ian was a strong believer in using the sport to help improve the lives of players; from hardship or petty crime to shifting their focus to team work, discipline and teaching other valuable life lessons.

Away from basketball, Ian enjoyed tennis, gardening and was a member of the RSPB and the National Trust.

Ian West Frazier, who lived in Shillingstone, Dorset, died on April 6 following complications from a respiratory illness and a long battle with cancer. He was 84.

He leaves a wife Kathy, son Piers, daughter-in-law Megan and grandchildren Sydney, Taylor and Fynn.

He is much missed by all his family and friends including his many basketball colleagues and juniors from England and the Hemel and Watford Royals family.