On leaving College David, instead of National Service, joined the Army on a three year Short Service Commission, serving in the Far East. His CO asked David to take charge of hockey, athletics and tennis which he did with great success, raising participation and standards while himself playing in several Far Eastern tennis tournaments. Back in civilian life David joined the Probation Service, with less time for sport, and concentrated on hockey which he played to a high standard with Doncaster. Aged 40 and losing a bit of pace David abandoned the hockey field but was persuaded by a friend to join Oadby LTC in Leicester. Within a year or two David was Club Captain and, on reaching 45, began a long career with Leicestershire Veterans and started to play in VLTA National events.
In 2001 David joined the VLTC making his debut appropriately against the Army Veterans at Aldershot and winning his three rubbers. For the next 18 years David was an unflagging supporter of club activities. With his wife Anne he would rarely, if ever, miss a club dinner, AGM or Cocktail Party. For many years he was a Committee member and never missed a single meeting despite travelling from Leicester. In the absence of the Secretary he would take the minutes. He meticulously sorted out the VLTC archives in the Wimbledon Museum and brought the club history up to date. He and Anne were regulars at the Palace Hotel VLTC tournament, David assisting with the organisation. The Norway match was a top priority for David and Anne and he was always amongst the first to apply for the match. Indeed he had indicated a wish to attend if this year's fixture had gone ahead. He enjoyed the social events and camaraderie but was serious enough on court. It was also noticeable that he invariably went out of his way to welcome newcomers to this annual fixture and make them feel a part of the group. He forged so many friendships with the Norwegian Veterans. He was also a match manager and it was during one of these matches against the Lords and the Commons in November 2008 that David suffered a cardiac arrest at The Queens Club. Rushed to hospital and placed in an induced coma, the Consultant warned Anne that, if David came round, he might have suffered brain damage. Thankfully, on regaining consciousness three days later, his daughter Heather reported that the only sign of any impairment was that David's first words were "When can I resume playing tennis?" which, of course, he did as well as returning to skiing and taking up water skiing and wake boarding when old enough to know better! A slightly more sedate activity was his incedible model railway, Victoria to Beckenham Junction which ran round their garden. (Look up David Straker railways on Google).
David certainly lived life to the full and took great pride in his family, his son, daughter and grandchildren. Two grandsons, Eban and Kade, are very good tennis players and another a daredevil BMX racer. One can sense David's genes in both activities. We mourn his loss, but will reflect back on all the happy memories and extend our deepest sympathy to Anne and the family.
David's Funeral Thanksgiving Service will be held on Thursday 13th May in Oadby followed by committal at Great Glen Crematorium, Leicester.
The Live Stream link for David's Service ** PLEASE CLICK HERE **
Family flowers only.
Our Club will make a donation to the British Heart Foundation, the family's chosen charity.
Personal donations to:
‘Make a single donation’
‘What area . . . somewhere else’
‘Dedicate in memory of . . . Honoree David Straker’
‘Write us a Comment . . . Please donate to Glenfield Cardiology’
*Google Chrome works best for this website
Alternatively, call Leicester Hospitals Trust on 0116 258 8709 to donate over the phone