IN MEMORIAM - BRIAN THOMAS & DEREK MARCHANT

 During the summer, the Club suffered the passing of both the President and the Immediate Past President. Derek Marchant and Brian Thomas were talented players, who went on to make a huge contribution to the leadership and running of the Club over the past 60 years. Both were instrumental in the growth of the Club and particularly the facilities and infrastructure.  

 

BRIAN THOMAS was born in Wales and came to Sidmouth aged 11. He learnt to play rugby at The King’s School and join the Rugby Club when he left. He soon made his way into the 1st Team. He went to Canada in 1957 but returned three years later and resumed his rugby career, showing the versatility to play both at full back and in the back row. He captained the 1st Team in the 1962-63 season. He retired in the mid-1960s and immediately joined the committee, where he remained a member until 1980. He returned to active duty in 1987, when he was elected President, a role he filled until 2004.

 

DEREK MARCHANT was born and brought up in Sidford. He was a convert from football in 1957 and picked up the skills of rugby quickly to earn a 1st Team place, where he played in the back row or at lock. A knee injury cut short his playing career but he joined the committee, where he remained until being elected as President to replace Brian in 2004. He led the junior section from 1979 to 1985 and was chairman of the committee 1985 to 1989. He helped to install the first showers in the 1970s and introduced the popular Patrons Lunches in 1986.

 

Brian and Derek played together in two significant matches in the 1961-62 season. Against St Luke’s College for the opening of the new clubhouse, in which Derek scored a try, and in a 3-3 draw against Plymouth Albion.