David Goodenough – Tributes

Here are a series of tributes from various eras to past-President, past-Chairman and ex-1st Team Captain, David “Goose” Goodenough who recently passed away.  Many more have been written and stories will long be told in the clubhouse and beyond.

Keep an eye out for club announcements of formal events and tributes to mark David’s passing and ensure his legacy is known for generations to come.


Malcolm Campbell – Senior Vice President, CRFC:

“On hearing that David was leaving Chiswick County, I went to his home in Antrobus Road W4 to invite him to play for the Old Meadonians. He immediately established himself as a regular first team player.

The picture below was of the annual match played mid week against the school about 1963/4 on the school ground. (another copy hangs on the clubhouse wall)

When he joined we played at Spelthorne, near Sunbury, where facilities were a bit primitive. In those days, before leagues, the only way to get better fixtures was by getting a good reputation and winning.

David was athletic, always fit and very competitive. He was a good sport with a sense of humour.

When we first moved to Lazards, our President in 1966, Douglas Burford, organised with Peter Yarranton a team made up of well known guest players. We narrowly won, David played well.

The Club went from strength to strength and the best rugby at that time played was in seasons 1972/3 and 1973/4 (908 points for v 203 against, 804 v 201). David made up a formidable second row with Ray Harries.

He went on to play and travel for Middlesex Clubs and Rosslyn Park. He continued to play on his return to us and was a very popular and successful President in 1994/6 and again in 2006/11.

He was a great servant of the club and will be missed by all who knew him.”


Charles Madge – Past President, Middlesex County RFU:

“Working with people like David was the prime reason I stayed on as Team Secretary for Middlesex for so long. Apart from being a fine player – Chiswick’s best I would say – he was a great bloke full of humour and honesty.

Western Provence v Middlesex – 14 May 1975

The defining event in his playing career, for me, was on the County tour in 1975 of South Africa (5 Lions fixtures in 17 days) when he was selected to play against Transvaal, one of the best sides in South Africa, packed full of not so genial giants, not known for their humour or kindness. Just before he went on the pitch I said, as one Chiswick lad to another, that the Meadonians would be proud indeed for one of their number to face such formidable opponents. He smiled and said “it might be an interesting encounter for them!” I never saw him play better.

Transvaal v Middlesex – 21 May 1975

Much to the County’s benefit, after his playing days he continued to serve the County faithfully and well.

I shall remember him with affection, respect and a smile.”


Trevor Smith – Senior Vice President, CRFC:

“I first met David Goodenough in 1964, when he was a school prefect and roped me in to deliver school milk to the prefects room! Soon afterwards David left Chiswick Grammar and I believe joined Old Meadonians RFC. I next met up with Goose at the annual, school versus the Old Boys game at Lazards, in the first instance competing directly against him as I was a young second row, before I converted to prop forward. In the post match entertainment, David as always led the entertainment, mainly drinking games, forfeits and singing. I believe that he may have given me a lift back to Hounslow central tube station, but I was in no fit state to remember.

I re-joined Old Meads in 1973, when David was in his prime and an excellent second row forward. I made the first XV and spent a couple of years playing with him before he was poached by Rosslyn Park after a successful tour to South Africa with Middlesex.

David spent 12 years at Rosslyn Park, but never forgot his roots, he would always come to the annual club dinners, dinner dance and managed to make most, if not all of our tours. He was a great tourist and I could relate many stories, but will not for fear of censorship! My outstanding memory would be of the nude rugby game in Paris and the return match in Chiswick!!! I would guess that David missed very few tours over a 30 year+ period.

Upon leaving Rosslyn Park David returned to the club and the first XV, where I played together with him for many years, I retired aged 43, but David kept going into his fifties. I always enjoyed playing in the same team as him, he was an outstanding lineout performer, great scrummager and always good for a story, or a jest in the clubhouse after a game!

I could say a lot more, but I’m sure others will describe his later and former years with the club.

David was also a keen golfer and a stalwart of the Meadonians golf society, which I latterly organised. A bandit off a high handicap, he deservedly won the last outing and is the holder of the cup.

He was a definite one off and I will miss him.”


James Oliver – Senior Vice President, CRFC:

“I will always remember my first encounter (circa 1979) was the annual ingratiating match of Club v School and Goose got the ball and ran straight through us – no one dared tackle him. In the bar afterwards he remained daunting as ever and chaired some of the drinking games whilst calling us by his favourite term of endearment!

He led the club both on and off the field; was 1st XV captain well into his 40s having played ‘first-class rugby’ at the Park, and introduced many new disciplines which helped steer the club to success. “sh*t or get off the pot” he would say, there was no hiding.

Goose was quite a blunt person to put it mildly, you knew you could always have a chat with him but you might not want to hear the answer because he would tell you straight. Cut him in half and you would only see maroon and blue was another saying.

Loved a tour and as presiding judge, provided spectacular entertainment where virgin tourists learnt the rules fast!

One of my happiest memories of him was singing ‘Jerusalem’ following England’s World Cup victory against Australia in 2003 – an all-day session in the Pitcher & Piano.

The outpouring of shock and disbelief of his passing has been immense; “we always thought he would somehow always be around” Or another tribute was “Goose was one of a kind you only find in great rugby clubs” very fitting.

His work is done but his spirit will always be remembered.

RIP David Goodenough”


Rob Udwin – Senior Vice President, CRFC:

“David “Goose” Goodenough was a complete one-off. An Old Meadonian through and through – a person who epitomised the club and all it stands for.

I first met him in the mid-1980’s shortly after I joined the club. As I recall, I had just established myself in the first XV, and this tall, lean, long-faced, wisecracking bloke showed up from Rosslyn Park rugby club, and promptly displaced me from the team! It is fair to say that I was somewhat resentful at the time. David of course came from the Park having played many times in its 1st XV, and also having represented Middlesex on more than 1 occasion, including on the legendary Middlesex tour to South Africa in the mid-70s. I soon realised that he was a better player than me, and as I got to know him the resentment turned quickly to friendship.

It wasn’t too long before I was back in the team, and David and I were for many years partners in the 2nd row – him wearing 4 and me 5. He jumped in the middle of the line-out and I stood at the front.
David was without doubt the finest line-out jumper I ever played with. His knowledge, timing and sheer athleticism made him incredibly effective. He was a good scrummager too – and although maybe not the biggest and heaviest lock around, a significant contributor all around the paddock. He was a terrific player! As a player and in his later years as a spectator he was also a very active referee, without a whistle.

The Old Meadonians, and then Chiswick Rugby Club had a wonderful touring tradition. And Goose was the best of tourists – a wholehearted, cheery companion who never seemed to tire (except once when he lost half his hair while asleep). Even after he stopped playing, he worked tirelessly to keep the tradition going and introduced a whole new generation of young men to the altered state of Chiswick Rugby touring.

I can honestly say I believe that Chiswick Rugby Club would no longer exist if it wasn’t for Goose and the amazing Sue. The club was on its uppers in the late 90’s / early noughties. David and Sue were the glue who by sheer will and force of personality held the club together during those difficult times.

They helped enormously to get the clubhouse rebuilt years after it had burned down, and worked tirelessly to raise funds for the club through their incredible sponsor’s lunches. The club is as successful now as it has ever been in its history, and in my view that is due in no small part to David Goodenough.

Personally, I had a huge liking for the man. He was loyal, big hearted, funny, indefatigable, and selfless. I will remember Goose for who and what he was, the ultimate good bloke and club man!

RIP mate.”


Ben Cattliff – Vice President, CRFC:

“I say this with love, but Goose wasn’t the warmest of individuals when you met him. He was never someone by habit to build you up with praise – by god he would let you know when you had done wrong and many (if not all of us) have copped his infamous 2-word motto outburst. That was almost a right of passage to getting to know him and a sort of badge of honour, as you knew you were on his radar. But that was Goose on the outside and on the side-lines.

I joined Chiswick where he had just stepped in to help the newly reformed 2nd XV as team manager. He was modest and did what was required to help the club the most, despite being above his role as Club President at the time. He knew it was important to build the club that he loved. Having converted from Football to Rugby that summer, I clearly hadn’t impressed Goose until a performance in the hostile curtain raiser to the 1st XV against Southmead in the National cup – quite clearly, he told me he “didn’t think I was 2nd team quality, until that day” and I got a nod. That was something that stuck with me and showed he gave credit when it was due on a personal level.

I really got to know Goose more after that as Social Secretary. He never missed the big events and the Goodenoughs were always on hand to help, but tour was Goose’s Everest. He never missed one. He would be the first to bring me his cheque book and ask afterwards where we were going. He was always involved in the laughter when on tour and loved it so much, that he would tell the tale that it didn’t matter how many tourists you had and that he’d been on a 3-man tour to Blackpool one summer. Tour is always tainted with tales of stitch ups and so on – yes, he was very good at those but he was also a genuine guardian on tour. If you were fortunate to room with him, you were blessed under his wing and under his watch. He would ensure you were in a safe condition and in-line not to be fined.

Goose, I will miss your embrace and presence at the club. Even the looking down on me and polishing my head. Chiswick has lost one of its heroes.”


Kelvin Campbell – Chairman, Senior Vice President, CRFC

“Like all of us, I am still shocked and saddened by his sudden death. I had spoken to him the previous week, and he was in good spirits especially happy that golf courses had re-opened.

I had heard about David before I met him, as I used to meet up with players who knew him whilst I was on a break from rugby, and I must admit I was intrigued. On meeting him, he was this large-than-life, slightly intimidating, but warm character.

Whilst we missed out on the best of David’s Rugby career at Rosslyn Park , and him representing Middlesex in South Africa, I enjoyed a decade of playing 1st team rugby with him. He was a formidable player, continuing to play regularly for the 1st XV late into his forties and actually played his final game of rugby a week before his 60th birthday on the clubhouse opening day in 2005.

I learnt so much, both on and off the field from the man who would go on to be President, Chairman, Captain and Club Captain. Off the field David was never afraid to get his hands dirty or lead from the front. An example of this is the Clubhouse we all love and call home. David was the instigator and main driving force behind the rebuild, which probably secured our future.

David loved touring and was often at the forefront as the judge. One of his legendary rules were, no showing of teeth during the session. You simply weren’t allowed to smile or laugh or talk. One day whilst holding court, and leaning back on a chair, the chair collapsed and everyone fell about laughing, mindful that this would lead to a horrible alcoholic fine. David picked himself up from the floor and said “the showing of teeth is permitted for thirty seconds only!”

On retiring from rugby David had a stint as referee, and there begins the love affair – I’d just like to share a story with you that I was reminded of recently. A referee was asked to talk at a lunch at Chiswick before a final; he began his speech and had hardly gotten underway when Goose called something out to him. He looked at Goose, smiled, and said “we do get warned about you before we come, you know”. Let’s spare a thought for all the referees who will no longer have the benefits of David’s touchline insights.

You’ll be sorely missed Mr. Chiswick”



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