Warm tributes paid to Kat Hampton

GENEROUS tributes have been paid to Kat Hampton, the secretary of the David Shepherd Cricket Trust, who has died aged 33, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

Kat, who was appointed secretary of the cricket charity almost four years ago, had been fighting cancer since Christmas 2020.

Guy Curry, the chairman of the DSCT, said it had been a joy working with Kat, whose value to the charity could not be overstated.

“Kat was a driving force within the Trust during the time she was with us,” said Curry.

“She effectively and efficiently dealt with all grant applications that came and made sure applicants applied with any conditions set by the trustees.

Kat Hampton on the veranda at Heathcoat

“What I enjoyed most was Kat’s enthusiasm and commitment to getting things done. In her mind nothing was ever too hard.”

Curry said he first became aware Kat was ill earlier this year when she said she would be ‘taking eight months off to travel the world’.

Curry added: “Kat said very little about her illness and was exceptionally brave in the way she faced up to it.”

Gavin Lane, the treasurer of the DSCT, worked with Kat inside the Trust and outside it when the two of them were managers on the Devon youth tour to South Africa in 2017.

Lane said Kat Hampton was a force for good in all her dealings with cricketers and cricket clubs in Devon.

“Kat was an outstanding DSCT secretary and an ardent supporter of cricket in Devon, who did much to foster youngsters taking-up and playing the game,” said Lane.

“Kat was a supporter and ‘officer’ of the boys’ under-15 tour to South Africa and a very effective ‘mother hen’

“She was a very hard and very diligent worker and a super organiser as well as possessing a lovely personality.

“We discussed cunning plans and strategies and how they might be taken forward.  As an ‘old fart’, with little to no knowledge of social media (akin to most DSCT trustees), she was an expert and very helpful in explaining it all.

“The David Shepherd Cricket Trust has lost a very valuable person, and Devon cricket is the poorer for her demise.  I know she will rest in peace but I suspect there will be a certain amount of re-ordering going on ‘upstairs’.  I for one will miss her.”

Alistair Deighton-Gibson, the president of Heathcoat CC, said: “Despite her illness, Kat continued to contribute enormously to the club that she cared for so much. 

“Her positive and vibrant attitude affected all who came into contact with her. She will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by us all.”

Kat Hampton was born and raised in Tiverton and attended Tiverton High School where she obtained a degree in illustrating.

Although she had no background in cricket, she went to work for Heathcoat CC in 2014 as facilities manager of the new pavilion.

The former netball player quickly fell in love with cricket and, after some serious coaching, became the captain of Heathcoat Ladies XI.

When Richard Wyatt Haines stepped down from the voluntary post of Trust secretary after almost eight years in place, Kat was invited to take over. She officially took over on January 2, 2018.

Leaving Heathcoat’s employment meant finding a job and, for a while, Kat worked at West Buckland School near Bideford. Later she put her degree to good use running her own design business in Tiverton.

Kat was working on a fund-raising project for St Luke’s Hospice in Plymouth up until shortly before she died.

Lane said he understood Heathcoat officials hope to finish the project Kat started.

Kat Hampton was unmarried at the time of her death. No date has been released for her funeral, which is expected to take place in late October.