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News > In Memory > In Memory of Neil Rakestraw (OS 1953)

In Memory of Neil Rakestraw (OS 1953)

We are saddened to hear of the pass of Old Stopfordian Neil Rakestraw (OS 1953) on 2 December 2023.
9 Jan 2024
In Memory

Close friend Derek Morton (OS 1965) shares his memories of Neil:

Neil was four years older than myself and my first memories of him were in 1956 when I left school and became a member of the Old Stopfordians’ Lacrosse team. Neil was one of the clubs' best players and leading goal scorers. 

When Neil left SGS he started work as an apprentice at what is now Simon Engineering, but in 1960 left to take up a place at the Manchester College of Science and Technology to study for a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Coincidentally this was the year I went to the same university but in a different faculty and met up with Neil again when I joined its lacrosse team. Neil's father, Cliff Rakestraw, regularly attended the University home fixtures and soon became its president. 

Neil had a car and regularly gave me a lift to the University's lacrosse fixtures and I recall the occasion on one foggy late Saturday afternoon in the early 1960s and Neil's courageous efforts to drive us home from. We had finished a match against Heaton Mersey, the visibility was so poor in the surrounding back roads that when he took what he thought was our turn to the right we were confronted with someone's garage doors! Fortunately, we did eventually arrive home safely. 

Some years after leaving university Neil changed careers and became a maths teacher at Marple Hall School until 1994, after which he retired. 

Neil was 88 when he died on the 2nd December 2023 and his service was held at Bramhall United Reform Church on the 21st December. It was a sad, but otherwise a joyful, occasion with happy memories and stories of his life told by his children, grandchildren, and others. The church was full with many friends including some former Old Stopfordian lacrosse players. 

Neil was a level headed, kind, and friendly person with never a bad word to say against anyone. He was well like and will be sorely missed. 

Derek Morton (OS 1965)

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