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Robert (Bob) Paul
Dad moved to Worcester from London on his marriage in 1955 aged 31. He had previously played rugby for a London Club and joined WRFC then based in Bevere when he settled in Worcester. He used to train by running around Pitchcroft racecourse (often taking our Boxer dog with him). I recall Mum telling us that on one occasion he took my older brother with him to watch the match he was playing in. During the game he suddenly noticed my brother was no longer stood on the sidelines. Dad ran off the pitch mid game in panic only to find someone had taken pity on a rather cold small boy and put him in his car to watch in the warm! Dad gave up playing rugby while we were growing up to spend more time with the family.
He started going back to Club at Sixways during the 70s and enjoyed watching the matches and the family would often go with him to the various social events. He was once asked to play in an oldies match, he was dubious but we talked him into it. I think he was only on the pitch for a short time before he pulled something and my brother had to take his place. Mum used to laugh and call herself a rugby widow. We all knew we would not see much of him on Saturdays during rugby season!
He attended various committee meetings at the Club and was later asked to take over as Fixture Secretary from Bill Best. He enjoyed this and would spend literally hours on the phone late into the evenings organising matches for the various teams. At that time the telephone was in the hallway (before mobile phones) and he would spend his time sat on the stairs making his phone calls. He would get frustrated at times when games were cancelled at the last minute and he had to then ring around to find alternative clubs to play. Occasionally he would be late getting home on a Friday evening and I would receive a call from him asking me to ring Fixture Secretaries of other Clubs to confirm the arrangements for matches on the Saturday. Dad continued to be the Fixture Secretary until the Club turned professional. Although he was disappointed when this role came to an end, he was honoured to have been made a life member and he continued to support the Club, watching matches, both amateur and professional right up until his death in 2015.
By Joanne Ashcroft
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