Veteran co-Captain Earl leaves the team to battle ill-health
It is with enormous sadness that I report that veteran team-mate and longstanding member of the Captaincy team earlkarjohn has decided to leave the team as a result of ill health.
Not many will know that Earl has been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease for some time and his condition has been getting progressively worse.
Earl has been one of my co-Captains ever since I first became Captain in 2008 and for a short spell before that he was Captain himself.
He has always been a great support at my side, not only in the day-to-day grind of match setting duties but also in offering an ear and wise counsel on the occasions I have needed it. Though we have never met, Earl is a good friend.
He shared the news of his condition with me just under last year when he offered to stand down as Co-Captain as his physical capacity to handle the role began to diminish.
I accepted that he could no longer perform those duties but I could not bring myself to take his Co-Captaincy from him. It somehow did not feel right.
Earl continued to play team matches for us but earlier this year he timed out on a mass of games as his efforts to cope with daily routines became even more of a challenge. He wrote to me to inform me, and he was devastated as he is aware that such events hurt the team as a whole.
He offered to leave the team but I persuaded him to stay and after a short break I set him up with a small handful of games. I had hoped that continuing to play his online chess would be a useful distraction for him.
Two days ago he timed out on those matches and today I received the message that he has left the team.
He left this as a parting message: “I have caused enough pain for the team. I have a Parkinsons condition psp progressive subnuclear palsey. Know that I will always be around for the team. And thank you to our team captain Andy – Wanderingwolf - for putting up with me”
I cannot tell you how upset I feel right now for Earl, and I only wish there was more we could do to reach out to him and support him. Parkinson’s is such a cruel and debilitating disease.
I’m not sure of Earl’s exact age but I believe he is in the early half of his 60’s and was just reaching the point of retirement from a career in the IT industry when his condition struck. He lives with his wife in Hook, in the country of Hampshire, in southern England.
Like a number of us within The Fighting Warriors team he was recruited in that first batch of players when the team was first founded by achilles13 – Natalino – back in 2005.
His chess rating reached a peak in the 1600s but most of his time with the team he played at a consistent level within the mid to upper 1500s.
I know from correspondence that online GK chess and, in particular, team chess with the Warriors has meant a lot to him over the years. His decision to leave would not have been taken lightly and it is typical that his motivation was primarily a selfless one to protect the team from further timeouts.
This team owes Earl a great debt of gratitude as I do personally. We will miss him and I know I will miss his counsel and support.
Earl - I pray God gives you the strength you need to cope with the challenges you now face, and I hope you reach out to us at any time if you need any help in any way.
You will always find a welcome within our band of chess Warriors.
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Our Captain Andy
Andy has been Captain of The Fighting Warriors team since August 2009.
Andy joined the Warriors in October 2005 and has played throughout this time under the Gameknot username wanderingwolf. He was a co-Captain before stepping up to the Captaincy following team election.
Andy lives in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk in the UK.
Earl is a former Captain of the Fighting Warriors and has rarely not formed part of the captaincy team.
He joined the team in August 2006 and plays under the username earlkarjohn. He lives in Hook, Hampshire in the UK.