Francesca Richardson

A few words from Shihan McClagish on the recent sad passing of Francesca Richardson:


Francesca was a fabulous little girl and karate student who sadly and tragically passed away on 29th January this year at the very young age of 10 years old.


She started her short karate career at the Riseley Club and then transferred to Clapham when Riseley had to, regrettably, close. During that time, Francesca reached purple belt level and was always a respectful, attentive and fun loving member of both clubs.


In October last year, after complaining of leg pains, she was unbelievably diagnosed with a form of bone cancer and underwent weeks of therapy in an attempt to cure it. Tragically, at the beginning of January this year, the devastating news was given that a cure was not possible and she was given a matter of a few weeks.


We can only imagine the horror that both her and her parents must have suffered at that time but we understand she remained positive and cheerful throughout those dark days until she finally lost her battle with that dreadful disease.


Her funeral service was held at Melchbourne Church on Wednesday 18th February and was attended by several Clapham and ex Riseley students.


In her memory, a new quarterly 'Best Student' trophy for Clapham Club was ordered and has been engraved 'The Francesca Award'. Now, at every grading we hold, she will be remembered and in recognition of her immense courage and bravery, the first name to go on the trophy was Francesca’s.


For those touched by this story and wish to do something about it, a research charity has been formed in her name details of which can be found at:


www.francescasresearchfund.co.uk


Several fundraising events are now being planned for later in the year but donations would be warmly welcomed.