Dr. Don Anthony MBE

28th May 2012

Dr. Don Anthony MBE

It is with great sadness that Volleyball England announces that Dr. Don Anthony MBE, the founder of Volleyball in Great Britain, passed away yesterday afternoon.

Dr Anthony spent the past 60 years developing, educating and empowering people through his work in sport, both as a professional educator and in a voluntary capacity. In October 2011 he was awarded an MBE in recognition of his important role in the development of volleyball in this country and for his work around the philosophy, history and evolution of sport for the British Olympic Association.

Volleyball England President, Richard Callicott, comments: “This is desperately sad news, the world has lost a great man and wonderful inspiration to so many of us."

Dr. Anthony, who lived in Sidcup, South East London, founded the Amateur Volleyball Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (AVA) back in 1955, having been introduced to the game while training with foreign hammer throwers during his national service days in Cyprus. At the time he was a specialist in sport and physical education, yet volleyball was an unfamiliar game to him, so he was determined that one day he would bring the sport to England.  

During his lifetime, Dr Anthony travelled to Poland, Czechoslovakia and also spent two years at the national sports academies in Germany, Finland and Sweden before joining Manchester University as an Assistant Researcher. While at Manchester he decided to found a national association for an international game, choosing volleyball, and in late 1954 he placed a letter in the Manchester Guardian calling for the establishment of the AVA. He had been involved in volleyball ever since in one capacity or another and became Volleyball England’s Honorary Life President.

The Don Anthony Hall of Fame was officially unveiled on 13th November 2010 to recognise the international success and achievements of players, referees and coaches within the sport of volleyball.

Volleyball England and the volleyball community send their deepest sympathies and condolences to Dr. Don Anthony's family at this very sad time.

Dr. Don Anthony's funeral will be held on the Thursday the 7th June at 10:30am at Beckenham Crematorium. A memorial to celebrate Don’s life will more than likely take place at the end of June, date and venue to be confirmed shortly.

Dr. Don Anthony MBE