08/06/1928 – 09/02/2015
Cheshunt Rugby Club and Hertfordshire Rugby have lost a much loved friend and servant of the game in David Bird’s passing.
At the age of eleven, David went to Cheshunt Grammar School and was introduced to 15-a-side rugby football for the first time. From that time on he was hooked on the game, playing, refereeing and doing essential admin jobs for his Club and County for more than fifty years. He loved the game, he loved the people that played the game and he loved other people that loved the game.
His Club (Old Cestrians) was formed in the 1953-1954 season. Their first opponents were Barnet. David was the first Secretary of the Club and was the Club’s home referee. The first Club President was Harold King (Mike’s father and Simon’s grandfather). On Harold’s passing, David was elected to take over the Presidency.
The Club went ‘open’ in 1966 and became Cheshunt RFC. Cheshunt RFC was a small, newish Club with not much standing in the County at this time. However, this changed when David was elected to the County Executive in 1980.
He held the post of County Treasurer till 1987, Chairman of the County Disciplinary Committee and a member of other groups until elected County President in 1988. He served his two-year term travelling to all the Clubs in the County - as do all Presidents. As we know, he was not exactly standoffish and thereby made many friends for the County and for Cheshunt. So far as Hertfordshire was concerned, David was involved in two World Cups - the 1991 one, where a countrywide rugby ball relay was run and the NZ, World Cup, referee Keith Lawrence came to Cheshunt for a ceremonial tree planting. In 2003 David helped see the World Cup be displayed at Cheshunt.
About this time, along with three other Rosedale members, David became a Trustee of Rosedale’s lease for the Club with the Council.
In all these endeavours, David had the unswerving support of his wife, Angela, and David’s rugby friends, in England and France, were always very pleased to see her at matches and on social occasions.
In 2001, David was made Life President of Cheshunt RFC and Doug Clements took over the role of President at the Club.
Way back in 1967, David led the first rugby visit to Cheshunt’s Twin Town of Stains, near Paris. The visits, Cheshunt to Stains and Stains to Cheshunt (coinciding with home and away internationals), carried on in the true rugby tradition of having a good time and not worrying too much about any match result – it lasted for twenty-odd years and nobody died!
David had a little poem for his 80th birthday which went like this:
Today dear Lord, I'm 80 and there's much 1 haven't done.
I hope, dear Lord. You'll let me live until I'm 81.
But then, if 1 haven't finished all I want to do.
Would You please let me stay awhile, till I'm 82?
So many places 1 want to go, so very much to see,
Do you think you could manage to make it 83?
The world is changing very fast: there is so much in store.
I'd like it very much to live until I'm 84.
And if by then I'm still alive.
I'd like to live till 85!
More planes will be in the air so I’d really like to stick
And see what happens to the world when I’m 86.
The poem continues ... I know by then I won't be fast and sometimes will be late.
Oh yes, he was often late, wasn’t he? But always good company and with a good excuse!
David was generous to a fault and said, typically, to a guest at his birthday party – “Thank you for the birthday gift but most of all, thank you for the friendship and the pleasure of your company.” We would be pleased to say the same about him.
There is also an article on David from the Herts RFU