A PROMINENT member of Solihull Tennis Club and a well known amateur actor with Hall Green Little Theatre has died suddenly.
Sportsman and actor Graham Walker, of Dingle Lane, Solihull, believed to be aged 69, died in hospital on Wednesday October 13 following a heart operation. He was a bachelor.
A large number of theatre and tennis club members attended a special memorial service at the theatre last Friday, October 29, to pay tribute to Mr Walker, who was born in Scotland.
The event included several speeches by his acting colleagues and photos of him in his various roles over the years.
A tennis club spokesman said: “Graham was a popular man and a social asset, as well as a good tennis player.
“He was also very knowledgeable and arranged quizzes for our social events. He also knew a lot about cooking too.
“He will be missed by us all.”
Graham was the youngest of three boys and his father was an electrician in Johnston, Scotland.
At the age of 12 his parents decided to send him to train as a priest, but despite being a strong Catholic, he declined.
On moving to Birmingham he worked as a teacher, a computer systems analyst and a social worker. He trained as a Samaritan from 1975 to 1980 and later became director of training for volunteers.
From 1977 to 1988 he joined the Alcohol Advisory Service. Starting as a volunteer counsellor, then a paid counsellor, to become manager of the service for people concerned about their own or others misuse of alcohol. He was instrumental in setting up the Women’s Alcohol Project.
In 1988 he became manager of Aquarius in Birmingham, again focusing on alcohol abuse, and later helped establish the Asian Alcohol Counselling Service.
In 2001 he was appointed a lecturer in counselling services at Solihull College.
Mr Walker had been a member of Solihull Tennis Club for many years. He played for the club’s men’s doubles teams in league matches and was present at the clubs mixed doubles social tournaments and events.
As a member of the theatre he played many and varied roles and was a firm favourite among Little Theatre audiences.
The date of the funeral service has yet to be announced.