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Phil Gatland - The original Stortford Super Volunteer

By Perry Oliver

It is with great sadness that we record the passing of one of our longest serving members

“A great character, true gent & dedicated servant of our club. ” Mick Coleman President

Phil who celebrated his 90th birthday earlier this year, passed away on Christmas Eve.

Whilst he may not have been a familiar face to many of our newer members, to those who have been 'around a while' Phil certainly was!

For well over 40 years Phil provided a reassuring welcome to all who visited the club in his regular voluntary role as barman. Phil continued to man the pumps long after we transitioned from a entirely voluntary bar team to paid staff. He was still pouring the odd pint in 2012 but inevitably age related health issues eventually enforced his retirement.

In many ways Phil was the personification of the strong volunteer culture we have today & upon which we rely so heavily to deliver our core objectives as a charity and club.

In his youth Phil played for his local team in South London 'Old Mitchamians' before his career took him to Malaysia.

Upon his return to the UK he chose to settle in Stortford and along with his wife June, raise a family. We were lucky that he also chose to get back involved with his new local rugby club.

In 2010 Phil was made a Honorary Life member of the club in recognition for his long & distinguished voluntary service and continued when his health allowed, to visit the club, meet old friends and cheer on whoever was playing right until the end.

Our thoughts are with June, his children Phillip & Helen & their families at this time. Thank you for allowing him to spend so much time over the years with us at the club. He will be greatly missed.

Phil's funeral has been arranged for Monday 7th January at the Parndon Wood Crematorium In Harlow at 2.30pm followed at 3.45pm by a Wake at the Coach & Horses in Thorley Street, Thorley.

Club blazers are welcome


Updated 17:26 - 15 Jan 2019 by Perry Oliver

Where next?

BSRFC Ladies day - Sold out! Ladies Day 2019 is now fully booked.
More ‘Duty Dogs’ needed – Volunteers? We would like to recruit a few more volunteers to join our team of programme sellers on match days

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