“I got to know just how kind, considerate and amiable he truly was, always willing to help out and volunteer at any time to make sure all the Youth fixtures went ahead”
Lee Bowden - BSRFC Youth Fixture & Refs Co-ordinat
John suffered a heart attack last May but appeared to be recovering well. Indeed he was at the lunch prior to the Loughborough game on 29th September, resplendent in his club blazer
Sadly though he suffered another attack at home on October 1st and although he made it to hospital, never recovered consciousness. He died this morning - 31st October at the tragically young age of 53
John had a familiar route into the club, coaching his son James' age group from under 6's to Under 9'. At which point John switched to the role in which he became much more widely known within the club, that of being a referee for our Youth section.
It's an age old truth that you cant have a game without a ref & John was the most enthusiastic of the small group of volunteer refs we can call upon.
in 2016 John was made a VP of the club with his citation saying 'possibly the longest standing & most enthusiastic of our Club / Youth referee’s officiating most Sundays during the season and at youth festivals.
Our Youth Refs co-ordinator Lee Bowden said this upon learning of Johns passing "The last time I saw him only a few weeks back he told me that he was "probably out for the season" but was adamant he stayed on the list. It reminded me of the first season when I was asking for refs for the very first time and called round to introduce myself where John told me: "Lee, basically if I am fit and you have a game, you can put me down. Except for the Sunday after the Army & Navy at Twickers, for on that Sunday I am of no use to anyone".
John will be sorely missed by all that knew him at the club but particularly by the youth section for whom his services every Sunday were invaluable. Thank you John for helping give countless youngsters at our club the chance to play rugby.
Our thoughts & prayers at this time are with his wife Heather, daughter Katie & James.
John's funeral will be on Monday 19 November 2018 at 14.30 at St Mary The Virgin, Birchanger Lane Birchanger. Followed by a reception from 15.30 at the Cricketers Arms, Rickling Green Saffron Walden CB11 3YG
Club Blazers &/or Ties are welcome.
Anyone wishing to attend should e mail Nick Cox via firstname.lastname@example.org so that he can collate numbers for catering purposes.
Updated 20:20 - 8 Nov 2018 by Perry Oliver