Tribute to Stan, a true rugby stalwart

Stan Driver
Stan Driver

MORPETH Rugby Club is mourning the loss of one of its longest-serving and well-respected members.

Former president Stan Driver died peacefully at his home last Friday, aged 86.

Raised at Stannington, he played his first rugby as a pupil at King Edward VI School and was serving in Germany when the club was founded in 1947.

He left the Army the following year and one of his fondest memories was playing in a game against Old Novos that took place without a referee, but with what he described as: “honesty, discipline and fairness from everyone involved.”

His long service as a committee member, which included 13 years as Honorary Treasurer, stretched from the days when the club’s biggest source of income was £230 from the Christmas raffle, and he was responsible for the shrewd financial management that led to the building of the present clubhouse.

It was Stan who was president when Morpeth beat London Scottish at Grange House Field and then travelled to Bath for another memorable victory in the 1975 National Knock-Out Cup.

Though he had been in poor health recently the cup-run veterans were delighted that he attended their reunion at last month’s match against Keighley.

President John Price said: “Stan was a charming and popular character who will be very sadly missed by every one of our members who enjoyed his company.

“Even when he became less directly involved with the running of the club he took a close interest in how we were progressing on and off the field.

“The name of Stan Driver will always be associated with the proud history of Morpeth RFC.

“We send our sincere condolences to his wife Ada and to their children and grandchildren.”

The players and supporters attending Saturday’s match will maintain a minute’s silence in Stan’s memory.