Sat 07 Nov 2020 17:31

I am saddened to inform his many friends at Caldy Rugby Club that our dear friend and great Caldy Supporter in every sense of the word, passed away at his home on Wednesday, the 4th November 2020. Tom will be lovingly remembered by his Wife, Debbie and Son, Robin.

I have had the pleasure knowing Tom, Debbie and Robin for fifteen years, meeting Tom at the Club all those years ago when we introduced our sons to the delights of Mini Rugby at Caldy with the Under 7’s. We quickly grew a team of fellow coaches, supporters and parents, and I left Tom to deal with the administration within our group of young aspiring rugby players and parents. His role grew very quickly to be my main confidante and the team’s manager as Tom’s communication, administration and diplomacy skills far outweighed mine. Tom really helped towards the success of this blossoming group of players and was so proud watching the boys develop both as young men and rugby players and he developed very strong and close bonds with the boys and their parents.

Tom was a very generous man with his time and energy, and quickly took on many roles at the Club. In addition to being the Manager of our age Group, he was the Mini’s Chairman, the Club’s Safeguarding Officer and a Committee member for many years, and he was an active supporter of all age groups and senior teams at the Club.

Tom was a gifted footballer in younger days, so he assured me, dancing down the wing in a “Tom Finney” manner, and, as well as his love of Rugby, Tom was a keen Snooker and Billiard player, and for the past several years has been the Captain of West Kirby Sailing Club’s Snooker Team. Tom was also a keen sailor, owning and sailing a Hilbre One design racing boat with his many friends at West Kirby Sailing Club, and became very active in the Hilbre Association, being the Hon Secretary for several years.

Tom and Debbie took great delight watching the development of their son Robin, both as a fine young developing man and as an aspiring and successful rugby player. They watched Robin represent Caldy, Cheshire, Sale Sharks and, more recently, often travelled up to Lancaster University where Robin was studying, to watch him play. Tom was very proud of Robin’s success on the rugby field.

Tom was a true gentleman, a very honest and generous man, a family man who loved his precious time at home surrounded by his loved ones. He had the enviable talent to be able to really get on with everyone he met and make them feel very welcome. I really can say, hand on heart, he had the ability to make newcomers and old friends feel so welcome in his company. Tom nearly always knew to say the right thing or word when it was needed, a fountain of knowledge and good old “Tittle Tattle”, which he used to come out with a wry smile on his face, with the words….” I shouldn’t tell you, but I think you should know….”

I will personally miss the loss of one of my very closest friends, the many numerous evenings at Tom and Debbie’s home, the numerous phone calls and nights out. In fact we will all miss Tom and great memories of the far too short time we have had to know Tom and I am sure our local Rugby Community will give both Debbie and Robin all the support and love they will need in this most difficult time.

Tom’s funeral will be at Landican on the 17th November at 3.30, but unfortunately due to the difficult times we are all living in, attendance will be very limited. I would hope that as many members who can, will put on their club ties and line the route through Landican but I ask that you observe social distancing throughout.

My last words, “Good-bye my friend, and thank you Tom, you made my life and other peoples’ lives so much better for knowing you”

Jonathan Atkinson


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