It is with much sadness and regret that we must advise you all of the sad passing of Doug Burford, one of the “true pioneers” of our rugby club (formerly Old Meadonians, and now, of course, known as Chiswick RFC.) We shall forever be in his debt, as is well known by our older members, but for those of you who had not met, or did not know Doug Burford, here is a reflection on a real gentleman, and a true Old Meadonian.
BORN 1922, sadly, but mercifully, deceased 2020.
He attended Chiswick County Grammar School for boys – 1933/1939, and then played his part in the armed services in India during WW2, and also representing the Army at hockey in Poona. Thereafter, knee problems curtailed his involvement, and interestingly, never played rugby.
However, he was a leading supporter of Old Boys affairs during 1940’s/50’s, and when OMRFC formed in 1958, he quickly became a main ‘mover and shaker’ behind the Committee when BPJones (English teacher at the school)was Chairman.
He then became Chairman himself in 1962 and led the Club in that position until 1970.
During his Chairmanship he established the sub-committee structure which later developed into the Chairman’s sub-committee. During that time he became the first ‘sponsor’ of the Club (long before such a thing was usual). He was very proud of OMRFC and was always concerned with the Team’s turnout which led him to donate a set of 1st XV shirts.
He drove and managed the club’s move from Spelthorne to the Lazards ground, including the opening match against a representative team containing senior and international players.
Doug succeeded Mark Hatto as President in 1982, serving until 1986, and together with Keith (‘Ted’) King managed a very successful Silver Jubilee Dinner in 1983 at Kempton Park attended by glitterati from the sporting world.
Throughout his later years, and in spite of health issues, he continued to support the Club and attended the 60th celebration Dinner at Twickenham in 2018 (at the ripe old age of 96 years!!).
A quite remarkable man, who retained an astute mind, right up until the end; we salute you Doug, and thank you for everything you gave to our rugby club.