On Thursday 16th November 2017, Caldy Rugby Club, Prenton Rugby Club, Oldershaw Rugby Club and the whole rugby community lost one of their finest.
Peter Wallace was one of the hardest working, toughest and yet most loveable second row forwards ever to pull on a pair of boots. Many of his teammates will remember him for his no-nonsense attitude on the pitch and for the mayhem he caused on long Lake District away trips with his home brewed schnapps and, of course, the famous elixir that lived and grew in his airing cupboard at home. The magical liquid could make you feel light headed just from a sniff and was responsible for many a forgotten Saturday night. Despite his toughness on the pitch he was a fair rugby player – I still remember, 15 years on, when Peter was playing for Oldershaw against Caldy. I felt a set of studs land firmly on my head and started to struggle to get back to my feet to ‘do something about it’. As I looked up Peter had grabbed his tap dancing team mate and quite literally hurled him across the pitch. He looked back at me and very simply nodded an apology – there was very little I could do but smile.
When he returned to Caldy he carried on playing and also organising and managing the second team until the pain in his back became too much for him to play. Despite his diagnosis in 2011, he still continued to look after the second team in-between bouts of chemotherapy, coached the colts and later took on the role of club fixture secretary and of course was an ever present on Sundays with Daniel’s age group.
Off the pitch, he will also be remembered for his kindness and for his willingness to help. I think Peter must have fixed half of the boilers on the Wirral. I couldn’t count how many times I sat on the floor of my landing drinking tea with him, talking rugby tactics whilst he worked on a pump or some pipework. I hope the irony of two second rows talking tactics isn’t wasted here!
We will all remember Peter in different ways. For me, I will remember him as one of the best teammates I have ever had whose attitude to life was an inspiration. Our thoughts are with Linda, their children and the rest of Peter’s family.