David Brooks: Anglia weatherman and enthusiastic Norfolk golfer

Former Anglia TV weather forecaster and golf fanatic David Brooks has died aged 71 after a long illness.

From 1972 until 1993, he was Anglia's Mr Weather and then developed a further career managing golf courses and running a grounds maintenance business.

A good golfer, he had played on courses around the world including the Royal Istanbul (avoiding lethal snakes lurking off the fairways) and one of his favourites, the Royal Melbourne in Australia.

An excellent team player, he captained the victorious Royal Norwich in 1990 in the Myhill inter-club trophy.

As he told the EDP: 'Yep we did it in my year. There is nothing like Myhill golf you know. The pressure and competitiveness.'

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Born in Darlington, he joined the Royal Navy after Durham University while his brother, Peter, went into the Army.

Lt Cdr Brooks, who was a keen rugby player, became chief meteorological officer in HMS Hermes and was chief diving officer. His final posting before leaving the senior service after 12 years was at RNAS Lossiemouth.

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Invited to become secretary to the Norfolk PGA (Professional Golf Association), he was respected by those earning a living from the sport. His no-nonsense approach was appreciated by colleagues, who admired the 'professional's professional.'

But he was always down to earth and a good companion, with a lively sense of humour. When the golf-mad weatherman was with professional Eddie Birchenough on the Gog Magog course, near Cambridge, in April 1979, they were both struck by lightning. 'We were standing under my umbrella during a shower when lightning struck the steel tip. Eddie was holding the umbrella and it shot out of his hand and I got a shock down my left arm,' he said.

As he'd been off the day before, he hadn't checked the Anglia weather forecast. 'Next time, I'll find out,' he added.

A member of 10 golf courses in his time, he relished the chance in 1992 to head a new golfing operation at Caldecott Hall, near Fritton Lake. And he persuaded Frank Hill, then the professional at Eaton, to join the new venture to create an 18-hole course over the 1,200-acre site near Yarmouth but the venture came unstuck. Later, he was club secretary at Purdis Heath, Ipswich.

In a 2010 new year's day appeal, Mr Brooks, who lived in Essex Street, Norwich, urged donors to give blood. He had been diagnosed with leukemia 16 years earlier and needed a seven-hour transfusion almost every week as repeated bouts of chemotherapy had weakened his immune system.

He has two daughters, Jennie and Helen, by his former wife, Sylvia. He leaves a widow, Linda, and her son and daughter. They have eight grandchildren.

A service of thanksgiving will be held at Norwich Cathedral on Wednesday, December 15, at 2.30pm.

Michael Pollitt

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