Steve Edwards, Henley businessman and a leading light at the Rugby Club, died peacefully in the Sue Ryder Home on Thursday December 15th. His wife Debbie, and daughters Catrin and Jess, were at his bedside. He had been fighting stomach cancer for more than 3 years and was 63 years old.
Born and schooled in Colwyn Bay [and hence a lifelong Evertonian] he went to university in Cardiff and made it his home, playing rugby for Cardiff High School Old Boys. After a brief attempt at teaching he entered the publishing industry where he then spent his entire career. He and his wife Maggie moved to Edinburgh in 1983 where he was Deputy Managing
Director of The Scotsman, played rugby for Corstorphine and where his daughters, Catrin and Jess, were born.
In 1989 the family arrived in Shiplake when Steve became Managing Director of the Reading Evening Post, and began a 27 year involvement with Henley Rugby Club. He joined the veterans team, captained it in 1990/91and didn't hang up his boots until he was well past his sell-by date in 1997. He then turned his active sporting focus to golf, joining Henley Golf Club where he became well-known and well-liked for his wit and repartee both on course and in the clubhouse, despite his reputation as a scourge of slow play. At the rugby club he was a vociferous member of The Shed and enjoyed offering advice and constructive criticism from the touchline to referees and touch-judges. He was a very successful fundraiser, organising the club's annual golf day at Badgemore, arranging speakers for its various events, and exhibiting his skills as an M/C, speaker and auctioneer at many Sporting Dinners.
A passionate Welshman, he was a dedicated rugby tourist, following his country, especially when they played in Scotland, as well as watching the Lions in South Africa and attending the Hong Kong Sevens. Steve also loved Golf Tours and for the last 25 years has enjoyed the regular Henley Hacks trips to France, the USA and Switzerland, as well as combining golf with supporting the Hawks at their furthest away games. Stories of Steve on tour are legion-but "what goes on tour stays on tour"!
In 2000 he turned his back on the corporate world and bought a small listings magazine business, targeted at the parents of primary school children, and moved the business to Henley. Over the following 16 years Steve and his dedicated team have grown Primary Times, through both direct operations and franchises, to now have the biggest print run of any "free" magazine in Europe. Now living in Peppard he alsohelped his partner Debbie to establish her business, Flemings, in Sonning Common. Debbie and Steve were married in June this year.
The immediate reaction to the untimely death of this Man for All Seasons has shown how much he was loved and how big a void he has left in the lives of his family and his myriad friends.
The funeral is at Reading Crematorium at 11.30am on Friday December 23rd with the Wake afterwards at the Rugby Club.
Family flowers only; Donations to Sue Ryder