Dr Tom Fawcett 1957-2020

A personal tribute by his friend Chris Hayward.

Tom Fawcett passed away aged 63, in Liverpool, after a very private battle against cancer. Despite his diagnosis in 2019 Tom kept on working though chemotherapy, surgery, and the pandemic. Tom was a much loved and devoted husband, dad, brother, uncle, brother in law and friend.

Tom was born on 28 January 1957, followed into the world eight minutes later by his twin brother Kevin. He was the eldest son of Thomas and Margaret Fawcett. The twins were followed by Janette, William, and Debra.

Tom left school at the age of 15 years to follow his passion for football at which he excelled, playing midfield for Tranmere Rovers and many other clubs. 

In his early 20’s he decided to return to education and trained as a primary school teacher at the University of Roehampton.

Tom then went onto work as a Sports Science lecturer initially in the North East at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle, and then at Salford University where he established himself as a leading sports psychologist. He worked with a range of teams and individuals, including the darts player Phil Taylor.  

He achieved his PhD, Doctorate in Sports Science on 4 July 2006.

Tom’s '15 minutes of fame' came in June 2014 when Uruguay football striker Luis Suarez's allegedly bit Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in a World Cup match. Suarez had already bitten two opponents in 2010 and 2013. Tom had been interviewed by the BBC after the second instance and stated "it's happened before, it'll happen again. Despite all the help, he's going to do it again." When it did, the world’s media came knocking… Tom was interviewed extensively, confirming that Suarez's actions were "predictable because of his past history".

My personal remembrances of Tom are as a first-class friend, and inveterate concert goer. He was the consummate host, the best kitchen disco DJ and gin mixologist one could ever hope to meet. He will be missed by all those lucky people who, like me, had the opportunity for Tom to be part of our lives.

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