'A brilliant man' - Founder member of rugby club dies aged 72

Clive Scrivens (left) with Steve Scott. Mr Scrivens was one of the men who founded Dereham Rugby Club in 1974 while...

Clive Scrivens (left) with Steve Scott. Mr Scrivens was one of the men who founded Dereham Rugby Club in 1974 while working as an engineer at the Crane Fruehauf trailer factory in the town. - Credit: Linda Scott

Tributes have poured in for one of the founding members of Dereham Rugby Club, who has died aged 72.

Dereham Rugby Club. Picture: Ian Burt

Dereham Rugby Club.

Clive Scrivens was one of the founders of Dereham Rugby Club in 1974 while working as an engineer at the Crane Fruehauf trailer factory in the town.

He and a friend, Steve Scott, both keen rugby players, got together over a pint in the King’s Head one night to discuss who they would like to play for - the nearest clubs in those days being Holt, Norwich and North Walsham.

“Neither of us wanted to travel that far for training so we kicked around the idea of starting a club in Dereham,” said Mr Scott, who was working as a journalist on the Dereham and Fakenham Times at the time.

After Mr Scrivens talked to some work colleagues who might be interested, Mr Scott put a story in the weekly paper and EDP, inviting people to meet at the paper's office in High Street.

The EDP and Dereham and Fakenham Times helped to garner support for a rugby club in Dereham.

The EDP and Dereham and Fakenham Times helped to garner support for a rugby club in Dereham. - Credit: Linda Scott

"There was such a good turn-out that it was clear the demand was there," Mr Scott said.

"A couple of months later we’d borrowed some shirts and were lining up for our first game, against North Walsham’s third team.

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“Clive chaired that first meeting and played a huge part in getting Dereham Rugby Club off the ground. He played at hooker for a few seasons before moving away to take up a new job.”

The club, now in its 47th season, has a clubhouse and pitch at Moorgate Playing Fields.

In its early days, Dereham had home grounds at Beetley, Northgate High School and RAF Swanton Morley.

Current club president, Graham Eaglesham, said that Mr Scrivens would be "greatly missed".

"He has always been involved in the club and it was lovely to see him supporting the team from the sidelines," he said.

"It's a massive loss for the club and he will be greatly missed by everyone. We hope to have some kind of memorial cup to celebrate the brilliant man he was."

Former players from the 70s and 80s get together on the touchline once or twice a season to cheer on the current team and to reminisce.

Mr Scrivens was among them three years ago for the annual presidents’ match but poor health prevented him attending more recently.

He died on February 21, 2021 and leaves behind his two sons and five grandchildren. His wife, Pat, died in 2020.

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