Popular Saffron Walden Rugby Club chairman’s legacy honoured 30 years on

From left, club treasurer Martin Curtis, chairman Ian McKernan, Susan and Billy Wilson, daughter and son-in-law of Jack, and club president Peter Reader. From left, club treasurer Martin Curtis, chairman Ian McKernan, Susan and Billy Wilson, daughter and son-in-law of Jack, and club president Peter Reader.

Monday, May 5, 2014
12:39 PM

Saffron Walden Rugby Club has unveiled a permanent memorial to a former chairman whose work more than 30 years ago laid the foundations for its success today.

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Jack de Lee, a well-known publican who had been a keen player for Ilford Wanderers in his earlier years, served as chairman of Saffron Walden Rugby Club for almost 15 years between 1971 and 1985.

He was instrumental in helping the club purchase the land for its current home in Henham when it was forced to stop playing at its former site at RAF Debden, now Carver Barracks. For many years Jack’s pub, The Kings Arms, was also used as the clubhouse before the club built its current facility, Springate,

To recognise the part his contribution has played in the club’s progress since, a fundraising collection was staged by member Will Saul to purchase a bench dedicated to the memory of Jack who died in 2007.

Club treasurer Martin Curtis said: “I’m certain that almost 30 years on from when he stepped down from the committee Jack would be delighted to see such a vibrant club today.

“The fact that we regularly field three senior sides and a Youth section with more than 400 players is testament to the foundations he laid for the future during his time at the club. It’s fitting that in our 50th anniversary year we have installed this permanent memorial to mark the contribution he made.”

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