Tributes to rugby-loving Hartlepool Boys’ Brigade stalwart

Keith Faint.
Keith Faint.

A former rugby player has been remembered for his dedication and commitment to the sport he loved.

Keith Faint has been remembered by friends for his life-long involvement in the First Hartlepool Boys’ Brigade.

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Keith followed brothers Ron and Jim into the Brigade and played rugby for Hartlepool Boys’ Brigade Old Boys from the age of 15.

He also served as an officer for the Brigade all his adult life. He was married to wife Margaret, with whom he had three children, Elizabeth, Tim and Richard.

Both of his sons followed in their father’s footsteps by playing rugby.

Describing his early rugby days when presented with a ‘Service to Sport Award’ in 2005, he said: “My career began playing rugby at Galleys Field School, and then, being a member of the Boys’ Brigade I started playing for B.B.O.B. often two games in one day.

“[I was] never a great player but always reliable and willing.”

Keith, born on the Headland in 1946, played for the second team in the front row, finally hanging up his boots in 1981.

By this time he had been Secretary of the Brigade for nine years having taking over in 1972.

Friend Ian Fletcher said: “He performed all the usual tasks associated with a rugby club with dedication and attention to detail and his efforts underpinned Brigade’s successes of the 70s and 80s.

“He continued compilation of club records begun by Bob Shipley in 1968, which I have been able to complete to date.”

He also served on the Hartlepool and District Committee and was Brigade Representative on the County Committee from 1987.

He was due to become County President for the season 2010-11, but in 2008 he decided that his illness would prevent him from fulfilling role.

After making his decision known he was awarded an Honorary Life Membership of Durham County in recognition of his extensive services to rugby.

He was proud to open the new changing facilities at the Moor Pavilion in 2007 and, living adjacent to the Friarage, was able to support the team as often as he could.

Ian added: “Keith’s extensive contributions to Brigade’s cause would fill many chapters.

“He belongs to that generation where duty and dedication are the most natural of inclinations.

“A true friend and gentleman, Keith will be greatly missed by his many rugby friends.”

Keith’s funeral service was held at St Hilda’s Church on Tuesday following his death last week.