Christopher Sharman-Crawford

Christopher sadly passed away last Saturday, 29th September, after a brave battle with cancer. He was a great servant to the Club over more than 50 years, having played for the first team in the 60’s and 70’s as a talented wing three-quarter. He was a very balanced and graceful runner with great acceleration and a wonderful turn of pace. He never looked to be running fast but opposition players could not catch him, everything was done with such ease. He loved to tour and was a great tourist!

Whilst playing for the club, he also took on, for many years, the voluntary role of maintaining the pitches, giving up many hours each week and taking great pride in producing excellent playing surfaces. The match programme at Old Redcliffians, our opponents last Saturday, included the following comment about Henley: ‘Over the years the club has built a reputation of providing a first class venue for everyone to enjoy their rugby. Henley’s beautifully appointed Dry Leas ground boasts one of the finest playing surfaces in the country’. There could not have been a more appropriate comment for the work that Christopher did as a foundation to producing the present excellent playing areas.

The other great service he provided for the Club, at that time, was encouraging his mother, Freddie, to do the teas for years; unbeatable Lardy cake! Or did Freddie persuade Chris to play at Henley?

Having retired from playing he followed the team religiously at home and away, and it was great to see him at the Barnes match a couple of weeks ago.

He became a keen golfer supporting the Rugby Club golf society, if perhaps not developing the same silky skills in golf that he displayed on the rugby pitch.

A true gentleman, much loved by his friends and he, ‘Clongy’, will be greatly missed.

Our thoughts are with Rita and family at this sad time.

Graham Horner