Tributes to ‘absolute gentleman’ golfer killed during day trip

PUBLISHED: 14:45 03 March 2015 | UPDATED: 16:07 03 March 2015

The road in Thetford, Norfolk, where Ted McDermott was tragically killed last week.

The road in Thetford, Norfolk, where Ted McDermott was tragically killed last week.


A golf society’s day out ended in tragedy when one of its elderly members was killed after being hit by a van.

Ted McDermott, 78, died on Thursday during a visit to Thetford Golf Club in Norfolk.

Mr McDermott, who lived in Clayhall with wife Barbara, was part of a group of 70 golfers from Chigwell Golf Society.

He died after being hit by a Mercedes van on the B1107 Brandon Road while attempting to cross the road between the fifth and sixth holes of the course.

After hearing the tragic news, friend Harry Harris contacted the Recorder to pay tribute.

Mr Harris, 92, said: “It’s unbelievable – you can’t get your head around it.

“The man goes to play golf and doesn’t come home again.”

He said he met Ted and Barbara at Theydon Jazz Club, held in Theydon Bois Golf Club in Epping every Monday.

“It’s on their way home, I’ve given up driving and they bring me home,” said Mr Harris, who lives in Barkingside.

“He was an absolute gentleman and a pleasure to have known,” added Mr Harris.

“It’s a dreadful tragedy and he will be greatly missed.”

Members and staff of the golf club tried to resuscitate Mr McDermott, including using a defibrillator and CPR, but he died at the scene.

Malcolm Grubb, manager of Thetford Golf Club, said he had been using a trolley to carry his clubs as he tried to cross the road.

He said he was following his two companions, who had already safely crossed the road, but it was unclear what had happened next.

“It’s a tragedy, especially as they came here to have a nice day playing golf,” said Mr Grubb.

“We are desperately sad that the day has ended in this way.

“Everything was done to try and resuscitate the man, including our own staff using a defibrillator we have recently bought. Unfortunately, it was unsuccessful but they kept trying until the paramedics arrived,”

“Of course the club offers our sympathies to the man’s family and Chigwell Golf Society,” he added.

Norfolk Police have launched an appeal for witnesses to the incident.

Anyone with information should call the serious collision investigation team on 101.

If you knew Mr McDermott and would like to make a tribute, email

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