The Professional Squash Association (PSA) would like to extend its deepest sympathies to the family of Malcolm Willstrop after he sadly passed away on Monday evening at the age of 83 after losing his battle with cancer.
Based at Pontefract Squash & Leisure Club in England, Malcolm was a renowned coach who helped both his son, James, and Lee Beachill – who would go on to become PSA’s Chief Operating Officer – rise to the coveted World No.1 ranking.
He mentored and inspired countless players across the world of squash and his passing will leave a big hole in the squash community.
Malcolm is survived by James, James’s partner, Vanessa, and his grandsons, Logan and Bram.
The thoughts and sympathies of everyone at the PSA are with Malcolm’s family at this difficult time.
“Words can't really express how sad I am to lose someone who has been such a big part of my life since the age of seven,” said Beachill.
Malcolm Willstrop (left) and Lee Beachill (right)
“Malc was much more than my coach for 25 years and a close friend for a further 10, he was someone who I could speak to about anything, someone I could ask for anything and someone who I trusted implicitly. Malc was the most loyal person you could ever wish to meet, and I will miss our conversations greatly. Only eight weeks ago, we were discussing who would win Black Ball, the latest rugby league match, and of course the many juniors who were impressing him on the squash court.
“His love for squash was as strong then as it was when I first met him 35 years ago. Looking back at my career, I am proud of what we achieved together, and although Malc would never take any credit – 'it is always about the player!' – I can safely say I would never have achieved what I did without him by my side, and for that I owe him everything. The squash world has lost a truly special person.
“My thoughts are with James, Vanessa, and Malcolm’s entire family. Rest in peace, Malc.”
Speaking on social media, James said: “It has been a difficult few weeks for him… as is to be expected he was stoic, witty and opinionated all the way to the line.
“Everybody knew who was in charge. Thank you to everyone who has been in contact with us at this time, it has meant a great deal. We read and appreciate every message even if we are unable to respond to everyone straight away.
“The beautiful carers and nurses that looked after Malc over the past couple of months have shown us something very special about the human spirit and we would like to express our gratitude and love to them here.”
A message about Malcolm… pic.twitter.com/0RUHTVURU2— James Willstrop (@james_willstrop) May 4, 2021