42 years ago in 1978 talented sixteen-year-old Stuart Hailstone, a product of Zimbabwe, appeared in the SA Schools Tournament for the first time. Well mannered, humble, an absolute sportsman on and off the court gifted with fast reflexes, fluid movement coupled by grit, determination, and commitment, Stuart was in the next few years going to make a huge impact on the South Africa Squash Scene.
Stuart appeared in 5 S A Nationals finals winning in 1986, 1989, and 1991 and finishing as runner-up in 1988 and 1992.
In 1986 he lost 2-3 in a tight exciting S A Open final to New Zealander Stuart Davenport and then went on to be crowned S A Open champion in 1988 when he defeated fellow South Africa, Paul Symonds.
Stuart campaigned internationally reaching a personal high of 14 in August 1987. He proved a worthy ambassador for South African squash although playing under the Scottish flag
1992 in the first Test Series, David Quail managed a young team consisting of Stuart, Gunner Way, Craig Wapnick, and Craig van der Wath against England.
1993 saw the same South African team, managed by Alan Doggett, participate for the first time in the World Team Championships in Karachi, Pakistan. Seeded 27th, they caused the upsets finishing 13th having not lost a match.
A loyal Western Province player, Stuart played a big role in Western Province’s breaking of the then Transvaal’s 4-year long dominance of the Jarvis Cup from 1986-90 as Western Province then annexed the trophy in 1991, 1992, 1993.
Stuart was the perfect role model for many young players – climbing the ladder of success but always with his feet on the ground: a committed loyal team player and friend: imparting his squash expertise, knowledge, and experience as a coach: taken too young, he will be sorely missed on many fronts.
Sincere condolences to Karen and his family.