Tony Pannell – RIP

A.R. (Tony) Pannell.

1933 – 2021

Chiswick RFC are saddened to announce that, Old Meadonians RFC’s first captain, Tony Pannell has passed away.

Tony was born on 27th May 1933 and sadly died suddenly and unexpectedly on 23rd April, he was 87.

He had excelled at sport at School (1945 – 1952)- especially athletics and rugby. He did National Service in the RAF (he was conveniently drafted into the Military Police to enable his release for sporting activity). Following three years at Loughborough, he returned to the School in 1957 to join the P. E. Staff (he introduced Ray Theakston to rugby). A former Grasshopper, he was the last survivor of the four members of the Chiswick staff who with several rugby playing Old Boys met in 1958 to form the Old Meadonians Rugby Football Club. In 1956 he had been selected for the Olympics in Melbourne in the 4 x 400 metres relay team but a torn hamstring meant that he had to withdraw.

Tony was the first Captain and Hon. Secretary of the Old Meadonians and led enthusiastically. He was a speedy winger with a troublesome shoulder which got dislocated from time to time but continued playing until the late 60’s, leading the Extra A XV and nurturing many young players who became leading players in the Club (Trevor Smith was a prime example).  His career in education – he moved to Raynes Park G.S. in the early 60’s – progressed steadily and he became a Schools Sports Advisor and later an Inspector.

His interest in cricket led him to become a Director of the Surrey Cricket Board – he was made a Hon. Life President on his retirement.

In retirement in Norfolk he became a Parish Councillor as well as a Wells Harbour Commissioner.

In conclusion, it is fair to say that he was a good bloke and a real gentleman. We will be forever grateful for Tony’s enthusiasm and drive in laying the foundations of Chiswick Rugby Club.


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