Deborah Ubee was born Deborah Ann Jacobs, on October 13th 1959 in Woolwich South East London. Her family had settled in Charlton where, while growing up, she attended local schools.
Together with a prospective business partner, they made plans to find a suitable location to open a Wine Bar and Restaurant , eventually securing a going concern in Tenterden, Kent, which they refurbished and re-opened as ‘The Pink Elephant’ in 1984. The Bar was a great success in the early years, also becoming a popular live music venue.
However, the start of the 90’s coincided with a deep recession and following the birth of their son Michael, Debbie and Phil moved back to London, settling near Blackheath Rugby Club, where they were both employed; Phil coaching rugby and helping to raise the profile of the Club in the local area, and Debbie looking after administrative duties, following the onset of professionalism in Rugby Union. Their daughter Elizabeth(Lily) was born in 1995, and although Debbie had shown some signs of post-natal depression, all appeared to be well for the Ubee family.
Debbie’s real problems were started by two events which although unconnected, when combined, had a devastating effect on her. The first was the death of her father, Les, who she was very close to throughout her life; the second was the loss of her job at the rugby club.
All the time that she was busy, Debbie had managed to cope, but suddenly having so much time to think and reflect was particularly difficult for her, and she increasingly turned to alcohol for comfort and escape.
As her depression increased, Debbie was referred to a counsellor for help, and for a short while, she did show signs of improvement. However, when the sessions finished, she gradually deteriorated as her depression and reliance on alcohol intensified, until she reached the point where she was hardly eating and suffered severe weight loss. At this point she was admitted to hospital, where suddenly, after several days in care, she suffered multi-organ failure and passed away a week later, on 11th October 2007, two days before her 48th birthday.
Debbie was a loving mother throughout her illness, always putting her children first and outwardly appearing quite strong and dependable. However, her inability to cope with the loss of her father and her job, shattered her confidence and self-esteem and contributed towards her refusal, until it was too late, to acknowledge her illness or the consequences of her dependence on alcohol.