We are deeply sorry to inform you that Sarah Watts, our friend, colleague and secretary, passed away peacefully on the afternoon of Tuesday, 6th January, surrounded by her family. Comforted by her Christian faith, she is now on the next stage of her journey.
It was not a shock – we’ve known this day was coming for several months – but there is still an immense sadness at losing someone so generous, so convivial and so willing at such a young age.
Sarah was hoping to reach three goals: the return of her nephew Andy to the UK; Christmas; and her 50th birthday on 26th January. Sadly, she only achieved two of them.
Before she left us, she wanted to thank each and every one of you who sent messages, letters, cards or phone calls. Typically, she apologised for not being in a position to respond in person, but they were a great source of strength and comfort for her.
She also expressed her pleasure at the rather pleasant recent change in the Albion’s fortunes. Having expressed her desire for a win before she departed, she was rewarded with two, with the Brentford result especially bringing a smile to her face.
She also found it very funny that, in the list of potential nominees for a new manager posted on North Stand Chat, Liz Costa was “in the frame”. Liz told her that she’d had to turn down the offer since she couldn’t do it on her own – her “wingman” was a little out of sorts and therefore the job should go to someone else!
The Argus featured Sarah in its pages on Thursday, 8th January. The Albion will be going all out to remember her at the forthcoming home match against Brentford.
Sarah’s family have found great comfort in the very many messages posted on North Stand Chat and on The Argus’s website. Many people have expressed their love and admiration for Sarah, thanking her not only for campaigning so tirelessly on behalf of the Albion but also for the personal help she gave to many. Others perhaps did not know her at all, but certainly knew of her and how much she had contributed to the Albion.
The funeral will be at St Andrew’s Church, Church Lane, Ferring, Worthing BN12 5HN at 2.30pm on Friday, 23rd January. If you wish to attend, there are some things to note.
Firstly, the church is small. Priority must be given to family and close friends, so some might have to stand or even remain outside. (There are plans to install a loudspeaker.)
Secondly, car parking in the vicinity is very limited. An early arrival is advisable. Alternatively, you can travel by train to Goring-by-Sea Station on the West Coastway line which is a one-mile walk away.
Finally, Sarah requested that the service be colourful. Football colours and shirts are encouraged. Black is definitely out!
Flowers are also out. If you wish to make a donation in her name, you can do so to her favourite charity, Canine Partners, which trains and provides “assistance dogs” to help lesser-abled humans with everday tasks. Please do so via the chosen funeral director: Marian Down, 59–61 Lyndhurst Road, Worthing BN11 2DB.
Sarah Watts is impossible to replace. She was a one-off, a unique character. All of us who knew her are much richer for the experience and are greatly diminished by this tragic loss.