Its with immense sadness that we bring you the news that former Chairman of Wallingford RFC, Des Le Roy, has passed away after his long battle with cancer.
Des was an incredibly popular figure at the club during his time as M&J Coach, M&J Chairman and Club Chairman, and was instrumental in the development of the club in the 21st century.
There have been some very touching tributes paid to Des in recent weeks, incuding Paul Sharkey's own photographic tribute on Facebook (Facebook), but Jon Ridley's tribute was one that stood out for many.
"Just feeling really very sad at the news of Des LeRoy passing. Such a thoroughly decent, likeable, engaging and good man who always, always had a smile for you when you met. He always greeted my with a loud “Mr Ridleeey” when he saw me and I always enjoyed the warmth of his greetings. We spent some good time together and he was just a very engaging and interesting bloke – regardless of the subject being discussed. Many at the club will have spent much more time with Des than I did and will know him much better – and I am sure they are feeling the loss today, I just wanted to share my own thoughts here.
I did a small amount to help Des at the time of the 2015 RWC. From memory, he had recently finished running M&Js and had moved to the seniors and was busy running bids to fund the refurbishment of the main club room, changing rooms, pitches, etc – he leaves a massive legacy and I will think of Des every time I have a pint in the clubhouse. Des loved his rugby, he loved the club, he loved his family and seemed to put 110% into his passions. It’s a huge shame that we didn’t see much of him at the club over the last couple of years and I’m jealous of everyone who was at the club on VPs day recently and was able to give him a hug.
Des is/was exactly the kind of person you can hope and expect to meet at a rugby club. A good person, honest, open, always willing to lend an ear and a hand to help others, such a good laugh socially, and he just loved the straightforward honesty and skill of the game of rugby. I feel extremely lucky to have got to know Des a little - I’m grateful that all of us who think of WRFC as a second home will be able to share our memories of Des over future years.
Big hugs to everyone feeling the loss of Des today and my sincere condolences to his family and friends."