Founding member of Saffron Walden Rugby Club dies after short illness

PUBLISHED: 11:44 08 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:44 08 November 2018

Peter Reader in 1966. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Peter Reader in 1966. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

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Saffron Walden Rugby Club’s president Peter Reader has died after a short illness.

Peter Reader, second left, in September. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDPeter Reader, second left, in September. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Along with John Soulsby and Martin Smith, Peter was a founding member of Saffron Walden RFC back in 1963.

Peter’s playing career began at Upper Clapton RFC after being persuaded by a couple of friends to try the game having not played the sport as a schoolboy. Peter played with Upper Clapton for a couple of seasons but the 25 mile round trip was becoming a chore and it was decided to form Saffron Walden RFC following a short meeting in the Cross Keys pub.

Being described as a tall, firey player. Peter began playing in the pack at second row but soon converted to no 8. Peter’s old playing colleagues remember him as being particularly adept in the lineout and an all-round uncompromising player.

Being a committed editor of two technical publications in the city of London, work commitments meant that Peter stepped down from playing in the mid 1970s but he was a frequent visitor to the club for vice-president’s lunches. In 2011, Peter was appointed president of the club and was often the club’s speaker at away match lunches having a long list of jokes and graces to be used for each occasion.

One of Peter’s old friends, Peter Crane, paid tribute from France.

“Peter Reader was a master of the ‘dark arts’ of rugby forward play,” he said. “He was a fantastic forward to have playing in front of you.”

As a scrum-half he remembers a particular time when he had a problem with some opposing Royston players playing some nasty tricks when the referee was looking the other way. After a quick consultation with John Soulsby, his teammate in the pack, Peter Reader and John saw too it that no trickery happened again.

The club’s thoughts are very much with Peter’s wife Edith and family.

The funeral and celebration of Peter’s life takes place at Radwinter Church on Wednesday November 14 at 2pm.

There is no specific dress code but Saffron Walden players and supporters are encouraged to wear Saffron Walden RFC colours, ties and blazers. Donations in memory of Peter can be made to St Clare’s Hospice either on the day or through Peasgood’s website.

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