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Sudden death of Colin Payne linked to murder enquiry

Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad and the new Squash 200 Partnership, building clubs of the future. Founder of the Kent Open and co-promoter of the St. James's Place Canary Wharf Classic. Author and Public Speaker.

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Colin Payne and Fredrik Johnson before this year’s British Open Over-50 final in Hull
Colin Payne and Fredrik Johnson before this year’s British Open Over-50 final in Hull

Teenager appears in court on murder charge

By Alan Thatcher, Squash Mad Editor

The sudden death of a national squash champion is being linked to a murder enquiry.

Colin Payne was my doubles partner at Maidstone Squash Club more than a decade ago.

I never thought I would have to write his obituary, let alone link his death to a possible murder charge.

British Open Over-50s champion Colin, a former professional player on the PSA World Tour, died on Saturday. 

Paramedics fought to save his life following an incident at an address in Dartford, Kent, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Payne had won the Kent championship five times, the over-35 title 10 times, and had represented the county on more than 100 occasions.

He won the British Open Over-50s final in Hull in March this year, beating Sweden’s Fredrik Johnson in the final.

Colin’s death has stunned the world of squash. My phone has been red hot all week as squash players from several generations called to ask for details.

Media reports this week revealed that Kent Police arrested a 17-year-old in Dartford following the death of a 54-year-old man during a family altercation.

The teenager is understood to have fled the scene as ambulance crews arrived but was found soon afterwards by police.

A Kent Police spokesman said: “Officers carried out a search of the local area before arresting a 17-year-old boy on suspicion of murder. 

“The investigation into the incident is ongoing and is being handled by detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.”

Colin Payne receives his British Open Over-50 trophy
Colin Payne receives his British Open Over-50 trophy

Colin Payne owned three bathroom stores in Tunbridge Wells, Reigate and Brighton.

Tunbridge Wells Squash Club chairman John Croft said: “Colin has been a stalwart member of the club and a first team player for many years.

“He is well known in the wider squash community having won the British Over 50s title. He was Kent champion five times and won the county over-35 title 10 times.

“Colin was instrumental in bringing the first professional tournament to the club in 2014 and has been a leading light in the squash scene for most of his adult life.”

Colin is understood to have been married twice. His first wife, Alison Henley, died of cancer two months ago. She worked in the competitions department at England Squash.

Kent Online reported today: A 17-year-old boy has appeared in court charged with murder after a man was allegedly killed with one punch during an argument at a house in Dartford.

The tearful teenager, who has been in custody since his arrest on Saturday, spoke only to confirm his name and address to the bench at Medway Magistrates’ Court this morning.

He cannot be named for legal reasons.

Police were called to reports the man had fallen ill in Sackville Road in Dartford just before midday on Saturday.

He was pronounced dead at the scene at 12.44pm. The incident is believed to have involved a single blow during an argument.

Appearing via video link, the teenager wore a grey jumper and kept his head bowed throughout the 30-minute hearing.

Magistrates released him into the care of Kent County Council until he appears at Maidstone Crown Court on Wednesday.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please leave your tributes to Colin below. 


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  1. Shocked to hear of Colins death, a great guy and great squash player all round sportsman. Will be sadly missed by friends at the old BTSC.

  2. I would like to reiterate the messages of shock and sadness after hearing of the sudden death of Coiin Payne. A fine squash player, Colin was always a gentleman both on and off of the court.

    Tom Hendry, Chairman,
    On behalf of all the members of the Great Britain Veterans Squash Club.

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