Humph Long, East London Royals & English Basketball Coaching Legend Passes Away -

Humph Long, East London Royals & English Basketball Coaching Legend Passes Away

Humph Long

British basketball coaching legend Humphrey Long has passed away at the age of 85 (1932-2018).

Long is most well known for his work setting up the legendary East London Royals basketball club, a programme that won 44 National Age-Group Championships, and were runners up 29 times for a total of 73 finals appearances.

Not just dominant at the club level, he was a PE teacher at Raines Foundation school in Tower Hamlets, where the basketball team was also a powerhouse, winning 14 national titles, including a year where they swept the U14, U15, U17 and U19 age groups.

He had a sports hall named after him at Raines following his retirement in 2002, having taught/coached there for nearly 40 years, after being appointed Head of PE in 1963.

He coached both basketball and athletics, and includes GB Olympic triple jumper Phillips Idowu , who penned this tribute to Long in 2008, amongst his former student-athletes.

He also coached the England Junior National team – collecting over 120 international caps.

Long’s international career began as an England Under-15s assistant to Norman Abbott in the 1969-70 season, before becoming assistant to Morris Wordsworth with the Under-19 team, and then to Len Hoy. He ended up taking over the Under-17s as Head Coach from Peter Mintoft.

He was also a significant figure with the English Schools Basketball Association, beginning his work there in 1962 before being appointed Vice Chair in 1974 and Director of Coaching in 1990.

Humph developed countless international players throughout his career, and was one of the forefathers of the sport in England. In his later years, he was one of the sport’s most notable collectors of basketball historical information and data around the English game, working on a number of documents that Hoopsfix hopes to help publish posthumously.

Tributes have been flooding in on Twitter from various figures in the sport (below), whilst some of the more moving tributes have been posted publicly on his Facebook page.

Humph helped Hoopsfix on numerous occasions behind the scenes and was a long time supporter of our work. He will be greatly missed and we send our thoughts and condolences to his friends and family.


1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *