Well-known Shanklin longshoreman Alan Hawkins has died aged 82.

Alan, who was a keen sportsman and popular figure in the town, was born in Islington, North London, on June 22, 1940, and grew up knowing hard times.

His mother was widowed in the Second World War and brought up her three children, lan, brother Eddie and sister Eileen.

Alan moved to the Isle of Wight in the 1970s and while doing summer work at a holiday camp he met his wife-to-be Ann Mapes.

Isle of Wight County Press: Alan Hawkins.Alan Hawkins. (Image: John Hawkins.)

Alan settled into Island life but continued to work in Fleet Street in the newspaper industry and commuted for a while.

After a few years, he started his own Island building/decorating business and traded successfully for many years.

Nearly 25 years ago, he bought the lease to Small Hope Beach and loved being a longshoreman and hiring out beach huts.

His son, John, said “One thing I fondly remember was he dreamt up, arranged and pulled everything together for an amazing street party on Sandown seafront in 1981 to celebrate Charles and Diana's wedding.

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“I remember it being a huge event and our house being utterly full of food and a team of helpers collecting food, gifts and furniture.”

Alan was a keen swimmer and very good football player in his youth. He played at a high standard in North London, mostly for Enfield Town. 

He was a very active football coach/manager, particularly with the tiny Broadway school in Sandown in the early 80s and turned a school with a handful of boys and no PE teacher into Isle of Wight school champions.

He was also one of the first managers to actively encourage girls to play and ensured the team was mixed.

Always one to help and support, Alan will be remembered for many things but he’d constantly help and support anyone who needed it.

In his youth, he loved a party and was always first in and last out in his bespoke Saville Row suits.

Alan loved books, and reading and spent hours putting the world to rights with anyone who wanted an ear and would join him in a coffee and biscuit.

He never really retired, he always wanted to help and be busy.

There is to be a private cremation on March 29 and a memorial on Small Hope Beach at a date to be announced.

He leaves his wife, Ann, daughter, Laura, son, John, daughter in law Steph, grandchildren Georgia, Morgaine, Richard, Zach and Rafe; and sister, Eileen.