Search

Tributes to popular rugby club supporter, businessman and loyal grandfather

PUBLISHED: 13:41 07 October 2020 | UPDATED: 18:16 07 October 2020

Bill Littleboy, former managing director of Longwater Gravel, who has died.  Photo: Bill Smith

Bill Littleboy, former managing director of Longwater Gravel, who has died. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2013

Tributes have been paid to a rugby enthusiast, businessman and loyal family man who “always had a twinkle in his eye”.

Bill Littleboy on a sailing boat. Picture: Supplied by the Littleboy family.Bill Littleboy on a sailing boat. Picture: Supplied by the Littleboy family.

Keen sportsman Bill Littleboy, 82, died in his Aylsham home on September 16 surrounded by his wife, Elaine, 81, and family, after a long illness.

Mr Littleboy, who grew up in Wroxham and Costessey, used to play for Norwich Rugby Club from his teens until his 40s before offering support off the pitch, joined Costessey-based Longwater Gravel in the early 1960s which was set up by his father in 1952.

Bill Littleboy who has died age 82. Picture: Supplied by the Littleboy family.Bill Littleboy who has died age 82. Picture: Supplied by the Littleboy family.

The managing director never fully retired, according to his son Will, who took over the role after his father stepped back from the business a few years ago.

Mr Littleboy, 49, from Tuttington, near Aylsham, said: “He was always there to give advice but allowed us to make mistakes. He was very supportive. He was enthusiastic about his sport and hobbies and always involved us.”

Bill Littleboy during his three years with the RAF in Sri Lanka for National Service. Picture: Supplied by the Littleboy familyBill Littleboy during his three years with the RAF in Sri Lanka for National Service. Picture: Supplied by the Littleboy family

His daughter, Beth Campbell, 51, from Aylsham, said: “He liked the camaraderie and social side of rugby. My parents were very good at entertaining. We had lots of parties at home.

“We would like to celebrate his life with a party when time allows. If he didn’t think he would get a party he would be mightily disappointed.”

She said her father, who had five grandchildren, would lead the singing after rugby matches and wanted to do all he could to support the club even after retiring from playing which included a period as vice-president.

MORE: Tributes to rugby club stalwart who was ‘great friend’ and ‘exceptional volunteer’

Mr Littleboy’s daughter-in-law, Fenella Littleboy, 48, described him as a dyed-in-the-wool Norfolk man who was proud of the county.

But despite that he loved to travel with his wife which included going on Jaguar and 4x4 rallies, as well as sailing and shooting.

His daughter-in-law said: “He liked to keep his family close but he loved travelling. He had a thirst for knowledge and adventure. He liked meeting new people and sharing stories. He had a twinkle in his eye.”

After leaving Earsham Hall boarding school aged 18 he joined the RAF for three years national service where he was posted to a transport hub in Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka.

Even at that point he was using his entrepreneurial skills which included selling pineapples to princes, according to family.

On returning to Norfolk he joined his father’s haulage firm and moved to Hevingham after marrying Elaine in 1965 at St Anne’s Church, Earlham.

Roy Bishop, from Norwich Rugby Club, said: “Bill was a true Norfolk man and a real country man. He was an upholder of sporting tradition and this was epitomised in his approach to rugby.

“He would play the game hard and fairly and always respected the opposition and referee. He was wonderful company and great fun in the post match social events and always made sure new members were welcomed.”

As well as his grandchildren, Mr Littleboy was father-in-law to Jaimie Campbell, 56, and has a surviving older sister.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press