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Marlow Rugby Club to give former friend 'proper' send off

A rugby club has rallied together to give ‘a very good friend’ the send off he deserves.

John Richmond – known as Ian – passed away on June 13 at the Royal Berkshire Hospital at the age of 77.

He joined Marlow Rugby Club in the 1960s, spending more than 50 years with the club, including playing for various sides including The Swans and The Stragglers, as well as the first team.

Born in December 1941, Ian attended Sir William Borlase Grammar School in Marlow, gaining eight O-Levels and four A-Levels in 1958.

Excelling in maths, he won a place at Leeds University to study the subject before he returned to work on the family farm in Little Missenden.

His great loves were rugby, beer, horse racing – and, as a former farmer, pigs.

Ian also loved his music and would go to gigs with close friends.

Following his death, a coroner declared that Ian had no known next of kin and no assets, meaning he would have had a public health funeral, also known as a pauper’s funeral, until Marlow Rugby Club stepped in.

As well as from club members, many from the wider Marlow community have contributed to his funeral, with donations and memories shared from as far away as the USA and New Zealand.

Ian is due his send off at the Chilterns Crematorium in Amersham at 1pm on Friday, August 30.

Former friend and captain Roger Keys said: “We as a club have rallied round and organised a collection to give him a proper funeral.

“The response has been massive. We have covered the cost of his funeral.”

Roger added: “He was a hard man, but a good club man who loved his rugby. He introduced other people to the club, and on occasions he could be a bit of a handful.

“He was loved and feared in almost equal measure.

“He was a very committed fearless rugby player and a very good friend to many.”

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