Obituary: Bill Berry

British Judo is sad to announce that Bill Berry 7th Dan passed away peacefully at home at the age of 85 on Monday 15th February.

Bill commenced his judo participation in his home city of Aberdeen during the late 1950’s, gaining his 1st Dan in 1966. Bill was a stalwart of judo in Scotland volunteering in many roles over his 60 plus years judo career including club coach, north of Scotland organiser, national referee, senior examiner, JudoScotland chairman and Honorary Vice President, and representing Scotland as a member of the British Judo Association Council for over 30 years.

Bill was also very active in Police Service UK Judo, competing and achieving victory in the National Police Championships in the 1960’s, in later years Bill continued to support the National Championships as head referee. During his competitive career Bill was also successful in winning the Scottish Judo Championships.

Bill was liked and admired by all who knew him and his quiet wisdom, calm demeanour and wry wit will be much missed by his many friends within the Judo family in Scotland, Great Britain and further afield.

Sports Director Colin McIver fondly remembers Bill’s impact on judo in both Scotland and across the UK.

Bill played a leading role in the development of judo in Scotland through his sterling efforts to promote the sport’s growth at club level and through his involvement in coach education and refereeing. He was particularly keen to get judo into the school’s curriculum and did a tremendous amount with local education authorities to achieve this. His involvement with Police Sport did much to raise the profile of police judo in the UK.”

“On several occasions, he was able to bring the British Police Championships to Aberdeen, his home town and, anyone who attended will long remember the success of these events – especially the post-event receptions!  Bill never sought recognition or praise for his work; he was a true gentleman and a great friend and will be greatly missed.”

BJA and Judo Scotland Honorary President George Kerr paid tribute to Bill by saying ‘the Scottish and British Judo Community has today lost a talented, hardworking and committed leader of the highest integrity, and I have lost a very much valued friend and colleague’.

Rest well sensei.