Nicky was born on Wednesday the 7th of May 1975 at the Norwich and Norfolk Hospital.
She was the second child of Bobbie and Mick Batch, following brother David into the family. Sadly when Nicky was a baby, Bobbie and Mick separated and ultimately divorced, although both remarried.
Nicky’s brother Matthew was born about the same time as she started her education at Mousehold School in Norwich. When she was seven the family moved to the village of Hevingham. Continuing her primary education at the local village school, it was here that Nicky met Becky, leading to a lifelong friendship.
It was around this time that Nicky joined the Solitaire Gymnastics Club and started her love of gymnastics. They trained in a cold church hall on a hard, unsprung floor and Nicky loved every minute of it, especially the competitions. This stayed with her and even after she had started her courses of chemotherapy Nicky could be found demonstrating cartwheels in the garden.
Nicky gained a place at Aylsham High School where she started playing hockey. This was the start of her lifetime love of and dedication to the sport. At the age of thirteen, encouraged by her aunt Debbie, she joined the Argonauts Hockey Club in Norwich. Nicky also continued to play at school, eventually becoming hockey captain.
She had a lovely time at the High School, being a distinguished pupil with her name being recorded on the School Roll of Honour for services to the school. Even many years later Nicky remained proud of her school 200m record.
It was around this time that Nicky’s Dad and Step-Mum André presented her with her sister Amy, and Nicky moved to join North Walsham Hockey Club.
On leaving high school Nicky started her A-level studies in French and German at Paston College in North Walsham. Hockey was a significant part of her college life. She came under the guidance of one of her German teachers, Mary Cheesman, herself a keen player and they played in the same team.
Whilst playing for North Walsham Nicky became second, and then first team, captain. No doubt this was because of her determination and leadership on the pitch. She even encouraged her mum Bobbie to start playing again. As captain she led by example and never gave up. Even very experienced players learnt a lot about attitude and passion from her.
On leaving college, Nicky worked initially at Norfolk Frames, a double-glazing manufacturing company, before going with Becky to work for Robin at his firm supplying spectacles. It was at this time Becky introduced her to the North Walsham Young Farmers where Nicky became an active member.
She enjoyed her time with the Young Farmers, and has been remembered for her openness and inclusivity. She was welcoming of new members without concern for background or age.
When Robin’s company moved
to Somerset Nicky then started her long association with Calor as an Office Administrator at their Norwich Depot. She was highly thought of and respected there, and her dedication and diligence saw her eventually gain the position of Assistant Manager. This then led her to being appointed as the manager of the Kings Lynn Calor Centre.
Throughout this time Nicky was actively involved with North Walsham hockey and she was always willing to help in any way that she could and was an enthusiastic organiser, and participator, on tours.
Then in August 2010, Nicky met Will; in a field in Peterborough.
Will was there to take part in what was to be an unsuccessful attempt at the world record for the “World’s Longest Game of Hockey”, and Nicky had made a last-minute decision to join the team playing in the tournament that was being held in conjunction with that event.
Somehow that night, Nicky had pinched Wills sleeping bag, leaving him to spend an uncomfortable night in his car, but the following morning they talked and spent time together, on and off the hockey pitch and, ultimately, exchanged phone numbers.
The following week, Nicky travelled north and met Will’s children Pétur and Lilja, and their romance developed from there.
There then followed a year of many miles travelling north and south the on A1 for both of them. This cumulated in Nicky deciding to leave Calor and move north permanently.
Setting up home first in Cross Hills, then in Silsden, Nicky cemented what was to be a wonderful relationship with Pétur and Lilja. Her love for the children grew and she, and they, considered her to be another Mum to them.
Nicky became a Sales Administrator with Carnaud Metalbox Engineering in Shipley, enjoying her job and again making new friends amongst her colleagues.
And of course, there was still hockey.
Although initially spending two seasons at Garforth Hockey Club with Will, in 2013, they both joined Ben Rhydding looking for greater challenges.
Nicky soon became an integral part of the club and threw herself into supporting the club in any way she could. She made so many wonderful new friends along the way.
She represented ladies’ hockey on the Sports Club Committee, looked after the junior section waiting lists, helped coaching Lilja’s team and was a wonderful dedicated club person. All this in addition to being a formidable, robust and determined defender on the pitch.
Following the diagnosis Nicky’s strength and courage in dealing with her illness was an inspiration to all. She was determined not to let it spoil her active life and she continued to play hockey. In both 2016 and 2017, she and Lilja took part in the Race for Life, at Ilkley and Temple Newsam, on both occasions raising a considerable amount of money for Cancer Research.
And in May 2017, she cycled the length of the Leeds to Liverpool canal, just for the challenge. The ride home on the final day was made more urgent as she had to get to hospital to have pre-chemotherapy blood tests.
Nicky enjoyed learning languages, and this fuelled her love for travelling. As a teenager she joined family trips to Spain to visit her Nana. Later in life she visited Las Vegas and developed a love for the city and surrounding sights.
With Will, Nicky revisited Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, and as a family with Pétur and Lilja, they had holidays to France, Iceland, Cyprus and Germany. In March 2017, Will fulfilled a long-held romantic promise and they had a wonderful trip to Cuba.
Nicky had a lifelong love of Liverpool Football Club. Inspired by her brother David she followed the Merseyside club avidly. Over the years she recruited other members of her family and, of course latterly, Pétur into the ranks of the Redmen.
It was Nicky’s family and friends that were the most important things in her life – she adored her nieces and nephews.
Nicky showed immense courage and dignity throughout her illness. She never complained about how unfair it was that she developed cancer despite looking after herself and being fit and active.
That courage was an extension of that she displayed on the sports field. Whatever the game, she was always determined to win, indeed in her eyes, there was no such thing as a friendly.
Nicky was always kind and fun, but would quietly encourage low-level naughty behaviour in her co-conspirators. Often initially shy and quiet, she had a sparkling charm which could captivate.
Nicky inspired love and she loved. Almost her final act was to marry Will on 11th of December 2017 and complete their family. She passed away peacefully in her sleep just two days later. Her parents, mother-in-law and Will were by her side.
She will be sadly missed but our Nicky B should be remembered fondly and with a smile. May she deservedly Rest in Peace.