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Founder of town’s rugby club and ‘great bloke’ dies from coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 13:18 04 June 2020 | UPDATED: 13:20 04 June 2020

Tributes have poured in for the founder of a town’s rugby club after he tragically died from coronavirus. Photo: Gareth Hadridge

Tributes have poured in for the founder of a town’s rugby club after he tragically died from coronavirus. Photo: Gareth Hadridge

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Tributes have poured in for one of the founders of a town’s rugby club after he died from coronavirus.

Mr Hadridge (third from the left on the first row) was a founding member of Beccles rugby club when it was set up in 1966. Gareth HadridgeMr Hadridge (third from the left on the first row) was a founding member of Beccles rugby club when it was set up in 1966. Gareth Hadridge

82-year-old Raymond Hadridge, from Beccles, has been called an “all-round great bloke” by friends and family since he died peacefully on Sunday, May 24.

Mr Hadridge passed away after contracting coronavirus while staying in the Dell House care home.

Originally from Penygraig in Wales, the son of a miner grew up in Kent before settling in Beccles in his 20s.

Throughout his life he worked a number of jobs, largely within printing, though he also directed a plumbing business in Kent.

His son said: “He was a brilliant dad - always there for us, always caring. He was generous and always there if you had problems. Photo: Gareth HadridgeHis son said: “He was a brilliant dad - always there for us, always caring. He was generous and always there if you had problems. Photo: Gareth Hadridge

But one of his greatest legacies came from his passion for rugby, as a founding member of the Beccles Rugby Club.

His son Gareth said: “He was a brilliant dad - always there for us, always caring. He was generous and always there if you had problems.

“We’re a big Welsh family, and he was always into rugby. He loved football and any sports but rugby was the main passion.”

Mr Hadridge was a founding member of Beccles Rugby Club when it was set up in 1966. He played in the original team and had spells as the club secretary, chairman and president.

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A spokesman for the club said: “Probably the most important part of his time at the club was setting up the first Beccles youth team in the 1980s. He and Kevin Eaton set up the first youth team to play rugby and since then youth rugby has continued to this day. Today there can be over 200 kids enjoying rugby at Beccles, a great legacy.”

Mr Hadridge is survived by his wife Pat, four children, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

His funeral will be on Friday, June 12 for members of his family.

However anyone who wishes to pay respects is encouraged by his family to don their brightest rugby shirt - preferably Welsh - and line the streets from London Road between the traffic lights and Butcher’s Arms pub at 10.30am for a procession.

Mr Hadridge’s family also said those who wished to could leave him messages or donate to Alzheimer’s Research UK here.


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