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Tributes Pour In For Popular Sportsman And Solicitor Ian Charles Michael Heal

Well-known Isle of Wight solicitor and sportsman Ian Michael Charles Heal has died aged 50, following a battle with bowel cancer.

The son of John and Christine Heal, Ian was born and raised on the Island and attended Chillerton Primary, Newport CE Middle and Carisbrooke High schools before studying law at Anglia University in Chelmsford.

He had a year of working and travelling in Australia before passing his LPC.

He started work with RJR Solicitors, qualifying in October 2000 before also working at Jeromes and Wilks Price Hounslow, always specialising in litigation.

Ian developed into the Island's main specialist housing and landlord and tenant lawyer.

This led him to work for the IW Law Centre and finally Churchers Solicitors, exclusively in that area of law.

Andrew Bryan, of Churchers, said:

“Since 2012, Ian anchored Churchers Solicitors presence on the Island.

"He was the reassuring presence for clients and colleagues as the business developed through the CBW Solicitors years in Union Street, to moving to Melville Street after merging with RJR in 2022.”

Ian was an active and long-standing member, and former president, of the Isle of Wight Law Society

In November 2023, he gave a farewell speech on behalf of the IW Law Society, to the retiring District Judge Andrew Grand. 

Judge Grand said:

“Ian was a stalwart member of the Isle of Wight Law Society committee over many years, supporting the local legal profession, and was a
dedicated and diligent President of the society for his year of office.

“Ian will be sorely missed by the local legal profession and by all those who he worked so diligently to represent.”

Outside work, Ian was well known in Island cricketing circles, primarily as ‘Skip’, the founder and captain of Carisbrooke High School Old Boys.

He led them to multiple wins of the Fred Winter Cup, on tours to Torquay and to and a Channel 4 fancy dress competition win on a trip to a Test match.

A spokesperson for the club said:

“Skip was the lifeblood of the Old Boys leading the club with spirit, humour, kindness and integrity, devoting many hours in ensuring fixtures were arranged and matches played.

“It did not matter as to what your level of cricket ability, you were selected as long as you enjoyed playing cricket and you were willing not to take yourself at all seriously.

“The Old Boys have lost a great friend and Isle of Wight cricket has lost a great character.

"He leaves a legacy of so many people proud to be a Carisbrooke High School Old Boy and a club that he proudly described as ‘a drinking club with a cricket problem’.”

He was a former president and committee member of Ryde and District Round Table, raising money and representing the Island around Europe.

Edward Day, Ryde Round Table president, said: “Ian was a long-standing and highly valued member and was instrumental during the recent recharting.

“Ian personified the true values of Round Table. He was dedicated, attentive, extremely knowledgeable, compassionate and humble, and enjoyed everything that Round Table represented – especially the fellowship and the camaraderie.”

He also had a keen interest in wildlife and the countryside participating in game shoots across the Island from childhood with the Gatcombe Churchgate Shoot.

Ian was also a governor at Newchurch Primary School and a keen Tottenham Hotspur fan.

He leaves a wife, Faye Heal, daughter Betsy, mother Christine, brother Ed and sister Nicky.

The funeral will take place at All Saints’ Church, Newchurch, at 1pm on Thursday, June 20 followed by burial at Springwood and a wake at Newclose Cricket Ground Donations to Mountbatten. Family flowers only.

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