Ironsides News


It is with great sadness that I must report that Tom passed away at home this week, as he wished, after a long period of ill health.

Tom was an immense part of the Club for many years serving as Youth Chair, Forwards Coach and Head Coach.  He was passionate and protective of the ethos of this Club and the core values and traditions of rugby which he believed provided many essential life skills and values for our young players.

As Youth chair Tom was always highly effective and highly regarded and conducted business in a calm respectful and intelligent manner driven by an unshakeable love for our Club.

He was the Forwards Coach to the team that included Kyle Sinckler, Marcus Bailey and Guy Newman and from 2008-2011 took the team through to their final U18 season as Head Coach. As such he was truly outstanding because he worked so hard to ensure this was a cohesive, supportive, inclusive squad –“a band of brothers”-who had fun and developed friendships and where every single player was truly valued and without exception always encouraged and supported. 

Needless to say the players responded to Tom’s leadership and guidance and even today 10 years later former players in this squad will speak with huge affectation of Tom and the memories of matches, the tournaments and festivals, the leagues and tours to  France as well as the fun and camaraderie of those years. All these experiences helped (in Tom’s words) “the team forge together to become a stronger more cohesive group. It shows that teamwork is all, that the collective is greater than the individual”.

Tom was a true gentleman who was always respectful and diplomatic, and who was a great friend to many and widely admired throughout the Club. In my view he was an outstanding role model to our young players and also to the other coaches and parents in the way he conducted himself and the way he treated others.

He will be much missed by very many people at the Club -perhaps it was his ready laugh, the way he so easily engaged with every one, chatting in the bar especially with the players, his humour, the Ironsides shirts, the Bath shirt, the kilt (occasionally) – we could all add memories and words.

Above all he will be hugely missed by his sons Charlie and James and our thoughts are with you both. The support of this Club that your dad loved will always be there for you.

Rob Newman
Club President and Friend


Comments (Leave a Comment/Message)

Michael Leech
He was a great guy, a great Minis Chair, a truly great Ironsider. I remember him walking into the kit hut early one Sunday having walked from St George’s and telling us of his wife Jenny’s sudden unexpected death. It is a moment Gill and I will never forget and I sit here with some tears thinking of him, trying to focus on happier times with him at the club. Glenn and Kate you were a real band of brothers and your assistance and caring for Tom over these last few years are a credit to you both. God bless you and Tom it was a real pleasure knowing you. Gill and Michael



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