16 September 2016
Brian Sears, the in-house statistician for Sportingintelligence who was a founding partner in this website and a weekly contributor for almost seven since years since our launch in late 2009, passed away suddenly last night.
Brian, 73, was a retired school teacher whose abiding passions were, in order, his family, Watford FC, and his fascination with statistics, the quirkier the better.
Sportingintelligence editor Nick Harris said: ‘One could not wish for a better colleague or friend than Brian. Like any of the best journalists I’ve ever worked with, he cared deeply about what he did, and he loved his work. When we set up this website, our only criteria for contributors aside from producing pieces that somebody somewhere might find interesting is that you were doing it because you cared about it.
‘I first met Brian when I was a writer at The Independent from the 1990s and Brian was hired to put together a weekly football stats package called ” …And statistics.” (As in, lies, damned lies and statistics).
‘We worked together on that feature for many enjoyable years and later when Sportingintelligence was founded, Brian was a natural fit to join us. He wasn’t much enamoured with ‘new fangled’ screeds of possession data, pass completion or the like. He much preferred simple old school narratives that gave historical perspective on a game he loved, and numbers that told stories.
‘Until not very long ago, Brian still did much of his work on paper, transferring his findings to electronic format only to send them over. Back at The Indy, he would routinely file by fax.
‘On one memorable occasion that marks out the manner of the man, Brian asked his wife to call and report that he would not be able to file that week because he was in hospital having had a major heart attack. But he made sure to add that he felt there was a chance, in excess of 90%, that he would be well enough to file the following week.
‘He was, and he did.
‘We will miss Brian and we thank him for all his work over many years. Most of all we will miss a good man and a good friend and our love and sympathy are with his wife, daughters and grandchildren.’