One of the most significant benefactors in British squash, Dr Assem Allam, has passed away. He was 83.
Dr Allam signed a deal to first revive the event and then take the British Open to Hull and, from 2013 up until the most recent tournament, bankrolled the event.
With the support of Dr Allam, the 2017 edition of the prestigious event then became the first in history to feature equal prize money for men and women.
“England Squash is saddened to hear about the passing of Dr Assem Allam, whose unwavering support and commitment made the iconic British Open possible in Hull for the past decade,” England Squash said on Saturday.
“Our thoughts and condolences are with the Allam family at this time.”
Bringing squash to Yorkshire was one of a myriad of interests which he supported, with the Allam family donating millions to support healthcare and education in the region.
In sport, he famously bought Hull City in 2010 – there was controversy surrounding his ownership – while he oversaw promotions, relegation and an FA Cup final appearance, which fell on the same weekend as one British Open squash event.
His son, Ehab, paid tribute to his father, describing him as a “strong, loving and determined man” on social media.
The Professional Squash Association (PSA) expressed their deepest sympathies to the Allam family.
Born in Egypt in 1939, Dr Allam moved to the UK in 1968, and graduated in economics at the University of Hull.
Dr Allam had a fond love of the city, a passion for sport, was a great participant in squash in his early years and was instrumental in bringing the famous British Open to Hull in 2013
“We are incredible saddened to hear about the loss of Dr Assem Allam,” PSA Chief Executive Officer Alex Gough said.
“Dr Allam’s invaluable contribution and support to the British Open over the years has been incredible, and we truly thank him and his family for everything they have done to revive the event, and to help it thrive in Hull over the last decade.
“The thoughts of myself and everyone at the PSA are with his wife Fatima and the Allam family at this time.”