When John and myself arrived in London from either side of Hadrian’s Wall back in the late 60s we were lucky enough to find accomodation near Ealing Football Club (rugby despite the title). We found many members mainly exiles like ourselves who for various reasons had moved to the big city. Gordon soon had us persuaded to join and we spent many a happy hour sweeping up the clubhouse after match days ably assisted by the “volunteer” bar staff. On occasions we also played! Gordon was not only a superb organiser but also an excellent raconteur with a fund of monologues to entertain us during the winter seasons. We remember his Dad and friends from Tredegar as well as Gilwern when we came to Wales for the internationals. Once to see Ireland play Wales with our irish pal Mike Berry to translate. We ran out of money, lost the car we arrived in , but somehow got back to Ealing by train. On another memorable occasion prior to the Scotland game Gordon arranged pre match hospitality at South Wales Police Club in the company of Strathclyde Police Pipe Band, presumably to make us feel at home?
On behalf of Ealing he hosted and organized visiting tours; no easy task in getting 15 or so players to turn up for a “friendly”. When John and I eventually moved back up North he facilitated accommodation, tickets for Twickenham etc from our clubs at the time, Wallsend Rugby Club in Newcastle and Workington Rugby Club in Cumbria. These involved some supervision but gave younger players a chance to compete away from their home patch.
I’m sure that you’ll all give him a good send off from Gilwern and no doubt we’ll catch up with the words of Ealing’s club song “we will sit up there and watch the world go by when we find that long lost gold mine in the skys … far away … far away …”.
Fiddlatom and Johny ByersTom Cochrane & Johnny Byers
- A P (Pat) Egan
- Bob Cordiner
- Clive Benjamin
- Damian Bugeja
- David Inwood
- G J (Willie) Williams
- George Priechenfried
- Gordon Griffiths
- Joe Lecky
- Marek (Mark) Kostka
- Mike Hill
- Richard (Bully) Bull
- Steve Keen
- Stuart Laird
- Warwick Tilton
So sorry to hear the sad news about Gordon’s passing. When I arrived at Ealing in 1984 it was reassuring to meet another Welshman!
More importantly, when my playing days were over, Gordon was instrumental in getting me into refereeing and he was always so supportive. Now, as an RFU referee coach I am still heavily involved in the game and so I owe Gordon a huge debt of gratitude.
He truly was a great rugby man of Ealing, Tredegar and Wales.Steve Brown
Gordon was in the same league as Willie Williams when it came to being a Club legend. Another Welshman who gave his heart and soul to the Club through good times and bad. He, like Willie, will be sorely missed. Ruth and I kept in touch after he moved back to Wales and often stopped by his house in Gilwern to have a chat and a catch up when we visited Abergavenny to see Ruth’s family. He was always good company although the last time we saw him – in 2018 – it was clear he was not as healthy as he might have been. We will miss him.Sid and Ruth Webber
Gordon was always approachable and friendly from the first day I met him at the Ealing sevens in September 1974. He was never frightened to disagree but always had the best interests of either the “team” or “the Club” at heart.
He could be sharp on occasions and always stood his ground when criticism came, but was always ready to laugh about it all afterwards over a beer.
I always remember the tales of his whisky drinking. A great lover of malt and would save a tot from all of his bottles into an empty bottle and create a random blend of multiple malts from 16 or more . I was never party to the opening of a bottle which was one of his rituals at Christmas time for those chosen few who were invited.
Michael A BrownMichael Brown
I remember having a conversation with Gordon in the Club House at High Wycombe after we had been shellacked by them in around 1984. I had been playing full back in the 2nd’s for a few years since the Colts and was drafted in to play 1st team center due to the injuries. He proceeded to tell me in his teacher like manner that I was the worst first team center he had seen despite my protestations that I was playing out of position and High Wycombe were full of Country club players.
About 4 weeks later after we had beaten Old Gaytonians in an epic battle in the mud at Horsenden Hill and I was playing full back as Footy had broken his leg, He found me in the bar and said it was one of the best defensive full back displays he had seen at Ealing but that I was still the worst 1st team center he had seen. He bought me a beer and after that I always found time for a chat with Gordon after the game (or at least if we had wonJ)Seamus Kerr
Thanks for the letting me know about Gordon. So sad to hear. He was always very supportive to me as a young rugby player and a really big part of my life at Ealing.Graham Precey
That is very sad news indeed.A true legend at the club.Paul Monteith
I remember Gordon fondly from my early days as an Ealing Colt and later on as 1st XV player.
Top man and always very supportive and encouraging to the youngsters.Andy Golding
A great Ealing man very sad news.Gerald Davies
That’s sad, I like many have such happy memories of Gordon, and played with him many times, I shall raise a glass to him.Mike Jackson