Our sympathies to Essex player Ben Nicholson after Sri Lanka tragedy
By LEE HORTON and ALEX WAN
The heartfelt thoughts of everyone in squash go out to Essex player Ben Nicholson, whose wife and two children were killed in the horror bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.
In a statement released over the weekend, Mr Nicholson, formerly from Grays in Essex, said: “I am deeply distressed at the loss of my wife and children. Anita was a wonderful, perfect wife and a brilliant, loving and inspirational mother to our two wonderful children.
“Alex and Annabel were the most amazing, intelligent, talented and thoughtful children and Anita and I were immensely proud of them both and looking forward to seeing them develop into adulthood. They shared with their mother the priceless ability to light up any room they entered and bring joy to the lives of all they came into contact with.”
Mr Nicholson is a partner in the Singapore office of international firm Kennedys. In a statement this morning, Kennedys confirmed the ‘devastating news’ and said it is supporting Ben in every way it can.
The spokesperson added: “Ben is now surrounded by the loving support of his family. This is devastating news and our thoughts are very much with Ben at this difficult time. Understandably, we ask that you respect Ben’s privacy at this tragic time.”
Mr Nicholson revealed how his wife and two children were killed in Sri Lanka and said they had ‘mercifully’ died instantly.
Newspaper reports said: Ben Nicholson, 43, was seen wandering the streets of Colombo in a desperate search for news amid the Easter Sunday massacre which killed at least 321 people, including 45 children.
His wife Anita, 42, son Alex, 14, and daughter Annabel, 11, were killed in the restaurant bombing at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo when two suicide bombers walked in and blew themselves up at breakfast.
Mr Nicholson said they had ‘mercifully died instantly and with no pain or suffering’, in the Table One cafe on the second floor of the hotel, where they were staying on a family holiday.
Mr Nicholson will have many friends from his time playing at Tilbury Squash Club and the Rackets Club at Corringham in Essex. He was also a member at Lamb’s Club in London. His father Eddie also coached at Tilbury.
In Singapore, where Mr Nicholson played in the local competitions, squash players have been asked to observe a minute of silence at all league games this week.
Additionally, another squash player, Sri Lankan national junior Nisanga Mayadunne, was also killed in the bombings along with her mother.
The Squash Mad team sends our heartfelt condolences to all those affected by these tragedies.