Sadly, Andy Shipman, or Shippo as we all knew him, died of a brain tumour on 5th January 2006.

He had emigrated to South Africa in 1980 and became a South African citizen in 1992. I discovered that he'd passed away when someone searching for Carlton le Willows on the Internet came across a tribute to him on the West Rand Chess Association website, and dropped me an email to let me know. I've subsequently been in touch with his wife, Selma, and his 19 year old son William, and they've kindly sent me the information to publish on this page.

Andy went to Priory Infants school, Priory Junior school and then Carlton le Willows, which means I was at the same school as him all my school life. I remember him as a very laid back, gentle person who was as tall as a small to medium giraffe, as you can see from the picture above where he was standing next to Ollie. And he wasn't standing on a box!

He obviously managed to master Mr Peel's molecular equations much better than I could as after leaving school he went to Bradford University and emerged with an honours degree in chemical engineering. He worked for BP in Scotland from 1977 to 1980 and then decided to head for the sunshine in South Africa, which is understandable after 3 years in Scotland. He worked for the National Institute of Metallurgy and met his wife Selma in 1982 - it must have been love at first sight and they were married in September 1982. Their only son William was born in 1986. William was a keen chess player and Andy was soon drawn into the organisational side of chess, becoming a certified tournament supervisor, hence the tribute paid to him on the West Rand Chess Association site. He had to resign from the Chess Association after the discovery and successful removal of a brain tumour in October 2003. Sadly he was diagnosed with a recurrent tumour in December 2005 and after further surgery and diagnosis of yet another tumour in January 2006, he finally lost his fight.

If you'd like to read the full tribute which Selma used at Andy's funeral please click on this link, and if any of you have any memories of Shippo which you'd like to share, or which you'd like me to pass on to Selma then please email me.