A huge gap has been left in the Majorcan and British community here and in the UK with the passing of the legend Robert Winsor M.B.E. He sadly passed away after a long illness on Christmas Eve aged 79.
Robert loved his wife Maria, his family, golf and probably more than all, charity - it was his life.
In 2013 he was awarded the M.B.E. for “services to disabled children in Majorca.” The award, which Winsor said he was “delighted and over-the-moon” about could not have been announced at a better time. In 2013 he celebrated his 25th anniversary charity golf tournament which raised 156,000 euros for underprivileged children in Majorca.
Over the years, Robert went on to organise over 20 celebrity charity golf tournaments, eight in England and the rest since he moved to Majorca.
He raised over two million euros (net) for disabled and needy children in Britain and here in the Balearics.
“I was also very surprised when I was informed of this great honour, I never knew Britons abroad could receive such honours,” he said after being informed by the Palace prior to teeing off in a golf tournament on the island of Jersey. “I am thrilled but the honour is not only for me, it also recognises the very hard work and dedication my team of assistants have put into organising the golf courses in Majorca,” he told me at the time.
Probably most important was his partner Maria Laserne who was always in touch with the host of Majorcan charities the money was donated to, always finding out what they needed most.
The Robert Winsor charity golf tournaments were some of the biggest fund raising events in Europe and he admitted that he was thinking of bowing out in 2013, but he kept going until the very end. “It’s very tiring organising these events and I thought the 25th anniversary would have been a good point to stop. But, I can’t now, we’re now already starting to plan next year’s - in honour of the M.B.E,” he said - there was just no stopping him.
Over the years, Winsor changed the lives of hundreds of disabled and underprivileged children. “We decided to start helping as many other charities as possible because of the huge amounts of money being raised."
He donated money to a vast range of worthy causes - children with down syndrome, autism and the homeless as well as the disabled.
He even helped the son of some friends of my parents back in the UK - he changed the boy and his family’s life for ever. The fruits of his first Majorca tournament at the Real Golf de Bendinat, was a fleet of specially built electric wheelchairs for the severely handicapped. Since then, the charity golf tournaments helped to provide hundreds of wheelchairs, re-equip care homes, start an ever-growing fleet of customised mini-buses, provide vital disabled lifting equipment for swimming pools and bathrooms, toys, special gymnasiums, walking machines, medicine and clothes for abandoned children, special cancer treatment for an eight-year-old boy, water wheelchairs for swimming pools and the beach, hydraulic shower beds and mobile cranes to help lift disabled children into the baths and their beds.
What is more, Winsor has established a dedicated group of top British celebrities and sporting personalities who return year after year to lend their support to his event. Jasper Carrott, Robert Powell, Jimmy Hill, Lance Percival, the late Kenny Lynch, who played in his first tournament in England in 1980, Stan Boardman, John Lodge and Mike England are just a few who have helped Robert Winsor bring a smile to the faces of hundreds of underprivileged Majorcan children and their families over the years. I remember once that the former Real Bendinat golf director Jorge Pando proclaimed at the 2013 event that “Winsor deserved a medal” how right he was.
And yesterday, his great buddy Jess Conrad O.B.E showered Robert with love and praise as he remembered all the great times the two enjoyed and all the great work Robert did. And his peacocks!