It is with deep sadness that we have to announce that Noel died on Tuesday 3 March after a short illness. Noel was synonymous with Westcliff RFC for over fifty years, having first played for the club while still at Westcliff High School, where he was a giant on the rugby field, representing Essex, Eastern Counties and London Counties. Noel played for the club 1st XV for nearly two decades, showing his incredible versatility by occupying positions as diverse as prop forward, hooker, back row and centre, playing with alacrity wherever he was required. He skippered the club in 1977-78 and was a mainstay of the Magnificent Seven, during a golden age when countless sevens trophies found their way back to The Gables. Noel also served as club secretary and treasurer, and was a life-long supporter off the field, sponsoring many club lunches either in partnership with Ian Francis or individually, and was a highly-respected senior Vice President. Outside of the club, Noel was heavily involved for many years with the Old Westcliffian Association, of which he was president, and was well-known figure around the borough, raising large amounts for good causes by dint of his marathon running, which he still undertook until recently. He was also a respected senior partner at Rickard Keen Chartered Accountants, with whom he enjoyed a successful career. Our sympathies are extended to Sheila, Rachel, James and Sarah at this sad time, and respect their request to be allowed a short time to reflect in private. The club owes a huge debt to Noel, and we will miss him and his presence greatly.
There will be a private cremation service on the morning of Friday 17 April 2020 attended by the immediate family only. Please do not send flowers. Alternatively charitable donations can be made and a list of suggested organisations will be published in April.
Due to developments in the Covid19 epidemic an open event to cellebrate Noel will have to be deffered.