So sorry to learn of David’s passing. My thoughts go out to Ann and the family. David was a massive contributor to the Club, and to many other good causes such as the Scouts. He embodied personally the values which any version of the Big Society must embrace to be effective. Things will not happen unless someone takes a grip of them and makes them happen. Very often that someone was David.
For the club he will be remembered for launching the Colts, ably carried on by Bill Taylor, which set the foundation for where we are today, but that was only one of his many contributions. I remember him as a patient and indefatigable team secretary, and a captain from whom I took over after he broke his arm playing. That did not stop him playing a full part in “his team”, which played the best rugby I every experienced at Ealing. Unsurprisingly, as the team consisted of thirteen Kiwis, who shared two flats in Earls Court, David and I. We not only played together on the Saturday but frequently on the Sunday as well, either for the Hansom Cab PH in Earls Court, or, if David was short, for the Old Priorians. David was, as ever, at the centre of this. Our results were spectacular, not least because two of our Antipodean stars had recently played for clubs which went on to become the core of Super 14 sides today.
As team secretary David took some stick for keeping this team together, but his policy was born of the pragmatic view that if they could not play together they would be disinclined to play at all, and rules are made to be broken. At all events, David and I had a most enjoyable season and spent a lot of time together, which was thoroughly enjoyable for he was great company, as he continued to be when I met him at the Club last year. David being David organised an end of season dinner for that team which was particularly memorable because the player of the year who was to receive a presentation at the dinner had been arrested at a tube station on his way to the dinner on account of youthful exuberance following a leaving party at work earlier that evening. He used his one telephone call to ring David. I was then instructed by David to put my legal skills to work on the Custody Sergeant at the Police Station where he was being held. The Custody Sergeant was a rugby man and when he heard the circumstances he agreed that youthful exuberance was not an offence known to the law, and released the player who duly received his award. Impossible to achieve in today’s world of political correctness and form filling but that was rugby then, which tickled David pink. For David it was the thing which made the evening, and he even talked of it when we met last year.
Hail and Farewell, David, well done thou good and faithful servant.