Goodbye to a good sport
THE Clarence Valley today farewells one of its favourite sporting sons.
A funeral service for Allan Edward Schafer, a legendary tennis player and coach, motorcycle racer, businessman and family man, will be held at Grafton's Christ Church Cathedral at 2pm.
Mr Schafer was described by the American sporting legend Jack Kramer as 'Mr Tennis', but he had a deep and long-running interest in a host of other pursuits.
He was a member of Apex, Rotary, parents and citizens associations, business groups and, according to his son, Jim, was a committed family man.
"He was very caring and supportive of things that his family wanted to do, despite the long hours he would put in at the business (Schafer's Cycle Works) and in tennis administration," he said.
"I think he was very well respected by people and enjoyed the company of young people ... it was more than a coaching thing.
"He enjoyed meeting new people and seeing them getting pleasure out of activities like ten- nis. He was very conscious of being a citizen of the town."
In 2002 he spoke at length with Daily Examiner sports writer, Max Godbee, saying he had left school at 14 to work in his father's Prince Street shop.
He later took over the running of the business and ran it with his brother Ron for 54 years.
It was sold in 1987.
"Besides cycles, motor bikes and sports gear, we sold and serviced cars, radios, and TVs and we had the first electroplating plant on the North Coast," Mr Schafer told Mr Godbee.
"We sponsored cycling and motor cycling racing teams and annual tennis tournaments for juniors.
"As well as my early years in the repair shop and later managing the front office and sales department and handling tennis club and association duties, I restrung thousands of tennis rackets.
"Life was always busy."
Mr Schafer is survived by his wife, Noelle, and children Dell and Arthur Lyons, Jim and Elizabeth Schafer and Neil and Molly Schafer.