24 February 2017 / Club News

Roy Churchill - Tributes

As many of you will know, our President Roy Churchill passed away on January 11th.  Since that time tributes have poured in from around the world via social media and email and I have collated some of these below.  If anybody would like to add to these memories and comments, please email me and I will do my best to add them here.

Stu Barter.

Added 26.02.2017

Firstly I'd like, on behalf of Corsham RFC to express our condolences to you all, over the death of Roy Churchill. I first met Roy when I was a teenager in Penarth youth, my father and brother Michael, new him far better than I did. 

The name Roy Churchill will always be associated with Welsh Club rugby, he will be greatly missed by everyone involved in the game.

I hope you find somebody with the same sense of humour to sit in the caravan at the tournament, we have been the victims of his comments on more than one occasion. 

Jon Brennan, Chairman, Corsham RFC.

James Evans -A total gentleman and a true face of the Old Pens, held in high regard by everybody who's ever met him.  He will be deeply missed  

Dan Godfrey - Such sad news.  Roy was the Old Pens through and through. Debuts, scores, appearances to a man would be on record. Last season's efforts would have made Roy extremely proud and a fitting time to win silverware after too long without. RIP Roy.

Tim Naylor - Terrible news, truly lovely bloke and was actually an honour to get my 1st XV tie from him.

I cannot find the words to do Roy justice, he was simply a rugby gentlemen who will be missed by our community, I know his loss has hit you hard but have some comfort in the fact that he did not suffer, I know I have.
At the appropriate time please let me know the arrangements I am just so glad that our Union made the lifetime achievement award to Roy last season, I believe that in some small manor it was well received and let him know how much he was valued.
Please convey my condolences to the club.
Yours in Friendship and Rugby
Dave Young, District Rugby Director 

Yes, a truly sad start to 2017 with the loss of Roy Churchill.
In a previous life, as Fixture Secretary for Old Cantonians, I had many years working with Roy. In those good old days you had to organise your own Fixtures for three teams. No League structure in those days either at WRU or C&D level. Furthermore mobile phones were not available and the flat I had in Cathedral Road had no telephone. I had to use the Telephone Box on Pontcanna Street. First on our list was the Old Penarthians and contact with Roy. He gave me a lot of advice as a new comer to the role, and the Old Pens Clubhouse was a great attraction to a Pub based Old C's. Then of course he was Mr. Old Pens Sevens. Old C's played in these every year, often without much success but always with great enthusiasm and much after game camaraderie in the Bar. 
In my current role as Secretary and Fixture Secretary at Llanishen, League Structures dictated who you played and Old Pens did not always figure on our Fixture Lists. However, you always knew what to expect from Old Pens and Roy was always guiding the new lads. Fortunately, still met Roy at the Sevens and had many reminisces at Rugby Meetings over the years. It is the men like Roy Churchill that helps to create the loyalty and friendships in our Rugby world. Yes a sad time, but happy to have known Roy

Ben Edwards, Llanishen and Old Cantonians RFC

What a huge loss for the Old Pens and the Welsh rugby family as a whole. I first met Roy 25 odd years ago when I played my first game for the Youth as a cocky 15 year old. I've since been back to the Pens and played senior and Vets rugby and now have 4 sons at the club. The Old Pens has stood the test of time as a proper rugby community and that is largely due to the culture and ethos that Roy has instilled in our club. A genuine honour to have met and spent time with you Roy. 
RIP Mr President. RIP Mr Old Pens. X

Stuart Gunnarsson - He was for me and most of you who knew him Mr Old Penarthians and encapsulated what we should all be about as a club.  The commitment, passion and pride he put into representing us will never be surpassed and is a benchmark for us all  


Ellie Lewis - Sending my thoughts and love to everyone at OPRFC. Roy was a wonderful man xxx

Lynne Haines - such a lovely gentleman

Andy Phillips - RIP Roy xxx

Bruno Tonnelier - All our thoughts and friendships from all the veterans of Iris Lille Old Briscards to the club and the family. RIP. xxx

Sue Barter - A gentleman through and through x Will be missed by all his friends at the club.
Thoughts to his wife Joyce and family x

Dai Mathias - Very sad news when I heard from my mother yesterday. I'd not seen him for a while but I'll always be grateful for teaching me the art of the firm handshake. RIP Mr Churchill.

Jason Lloyd - So sorry to hear this news .a great man will be missed by so many RIP  Roy x thought's go out to his family

Eve Morgan - Such sad news, lovely, lovely man, always ready with a smile and joke, will be sorely missed.  Love and thoughts to Joyce, Claire and Jo and families xx

Rob Howell - RIP Roy,  You will be missed by many. Our thoughts to your family at this sad time.

Chris Dacey - Very sad. A huge loss to rugby, the Old Pens and everyone who knew him. RIP Mr.President

Liz Heaven - A gentleman and highly respected by my dear old Dad. So sad to be losing that very special generation - men who knew the value of a promise and for whom a handshake WAS a promise. Condolences from the Heaven family.

Gareth Shaw - RIP Roy..... honor to have know you. Top man..... legend x

Danielle Lane - What an amazing man , so sad he will be missed xx

Tony Harries - RIP Roy u will be sadly missed

Laura Davies - Such sad sad news x

Ben Russon - Sorry to hear this. Condolences to his family

Craig Reynolds - A true gentleman 

Jane Peake - thoughts with his family lots of love xx

Andrew Morris - He'll be greatly missed.

Nicola Powell - Such a lovely,  lovely man.  Roy will be so missed.  Thoughts with all the family.  Lots and lots of love. Thinking of you all . Xxxx

Jefferson Cruise - Our thoughts and condolences with you all, from Llandaff North RFC

Chris Watts - RIP RC true gent

Richard Pexton - I first played against Roy in 1964   & got to know him well especially because of his involvement with The Old Pens Sevens Tournament. He was a truly Great Guy & will be sadly missed by the Rugby fraternity! Condolences to his family & friends from all at Cardiff Harlequins RFC .
Dick Pexton President.

Marilyn Morgan - RIP Roy, I will miss you x

Leighton Coslett - RIP Roy. A true gentlemen.

Rachel Morgan - RIP Roy, I will miss you xx

Ceri Morgan - True gentleman xxx

Chip chandler - Mr Old Penarthians RIP Roy.

Nick Chandler - Roy gave his heart & soul to Old Pens & rugby in general. Never wavered in his commitment.  RIP RJC.

Lorraine Bow - So sad RIP Roy xx

Mike Brennan - So sad to learn of Roys passing. Will be missed by so many. RIP Roy.

David James - A great Old Penarthian, a great rugby man and a great friend that will be sadly missed.

Dug Hotchkiss - So sad to hear RIP Roy.Sadly missed.

Sue Owadally - Sad news of a true gentleman.  Rest in peace Roy

Ann Morrish - Very sad news . Very well liked and well respected man . Love to Joyce x

Ray Taylor - Irreplaceable 

Daniel Vale - RIP Roy, lovely man

Rhianon Taylor - RIP Roy u will be missed xxx

Dale Evans - True Gentleman will be missed by everyone in Welsh Rugby - Tom Evans

Tony Kemp - In 1992 I started playing rugby for my local rugby team the Old Penarthians youth, it was during this year I met a sincere, genuine guy called Roy. He liked his rugby and he loved his club.
Over the years, I moved through the ranks so i got to know Roy a lot better, after all he was the guy who did the matchday report for the penarth times, so it was a case of pleasing Roy more than my own dad! 
Roy also knew my dad, so he would always tell my dad how well/bad myself and my brother played at the last game.
I remember many times when my old man would say 'i saw roy yesterday and he said'.
Roy was the guy who gave me my 50th cap tie (that was after malcolm pemberthy started a fork throwing competition).
Every first team game Roy would be there, from a home game against canton to a rearranged away game against deri on a very wet tuesday evening, he would be there pen in hand.
Over the years the matchday report has now been passed to Crimp senior, but Roy will still give his own report to the player after the game. Even last saturday, he said where i went wrong and what my dad would of done different (he was refering to me playing loose head, honest!).
After 3 years of youth rugby and 21 years of senior rugby, I am absolutely gutted, like so many others, that today we have lost Roy, Mr Old Penarthians.

Shawn Sullivan - Our thoughts are with all the family xx

John Bruno - Roy Churchill RIP @Old_Pens_RFC A true gentleman in every respect. I'll miss our friendly chat on the sideline during the Old Pens games.

Wayne Walker - Such a pleasure and honor to have known him. RIP Roy

Martyn Ryan - Wonderful,kind man, epitome of those who through rugby provide such a fine example to young players. Huge influence on me and many others.

Cardiff Blues - Thoughts with the family and friends of Roy, who gave an unbelievable 60 years service to Old Pens

Sian King - RIP Uncle Roy... 😢 we're all thinking of you and the family .. amazing to see the nice words being sent from your friends and club ! ⭐️

Jeff Norman - @Old_Pens_RFC Very sad news - epitomises all that is good in rugby and a proper gentleman - I'll treasure our post-match debriefs #Legend

Welsh Charitables RFC - Just heard the sad news of the passing of @Old_Pens_RFC President Roy Churchill our thoughts and prayers are with his family

Phil Steele - Very sad to hear of death of @Old_Pens_RFC legendary President Roy Churchill. 
61 yrs at the club - a magnificent servant of Welsh rugby.

St Albans RFC - sorry to hear / see the news of Roy. @thebunsrfc thoughts with club & family

Tim Cheney - An absolute gent. Very sad.

Geraint Morgan - Roy was an absolute legend for the Old Pens.  He played alongside my dad and I had the pleasure of knowing him  since the mid 70s when dad was the team first aider. Will always remember his humorous announcements over the PA at the Sevens and for being such a kind, generous person.

Kerry Williams - Such sad news   Thoughts are with his wife and daughters

Michael Barnett - Yes he was a great ambassador and a fine gentleman.  It was a pleasure to have know him. 

Richie Moir - A minutes silence was held today at our game Rumney RFC v Cardiff harlequins in memory of ROY CHURCHILL. 


Tim Rees - A true Gent and Old Pens to the core. An honour to have known Roy.

Rob Boyd - Claire, thinking of you, Jo, Mum and the rest of the family at this time.. Xx
Your Dad was an enormously well liked and respected man not only in Penarth and the Old Penarthians but throughout the Rugby community in Wales, he had an amazing knowledge of the game(especially the old pens) that was enhanced by his own special brand of humour and a hell of a pinch when least expected........always a gentleman.....
RIP Mr Churchill Xxx

Stu Barter - Whilst I've only known Roy for a short time in comparison to some of you the news of his passing had me in tears yesterday.  He welcomed me to the club in which he invested so much of himself and I hope that I can instil in the kids I coach the rugby values that we all saw in Roy.

I know we will all miss his counsel and friendship and I for one will miss his (at times cutting) sense of humour.

Roy is our club.  The messages we have received via social media from members and friends in the wider rugby community are testament to the high regard in which Roy was held in Welsh rugby.

David Grassoff - I was very much hoping to make the service on Friday but work does not permit it. Nevertheless I would like to pay my own personal tribute to Roy and the impact he had on my participation in Rugby with both the Old Penarthians RFC and subsequently with the RFU. It was his humility, respect for others, knowledge of the game, integrity and for my future perspective his respect for all match officials. Since leaving Penarth in the late 70s it never ceased to surprise me how highly Roy was respected in rugby circles. My abiding memory of Roy was the Old Penarthians RFC visit to Oxford in 1976 and the time we spent together after the narrow victory against my college side. RIP Roy.

John and Carol Saunders - 

Remembering Roy Churchill

As an Old Penarthian expatriate, I have been fortunate enough to be able to keep close contact with the town over the last half century plus. One of the most important constants in that time has been the Old Penarthians’ club, the chance to periodically renew acquaintances with many great people and friends and above all the presence of Roy Churchill in the left hand corner of the bar.

The notion that someone well known has become an institution is an idea that is often proposed. In the case of Roy Churchill that considerably understates his influence and impact. Yes, he was an institution and became recognised as a very significant contributor to the town, the club and Welsh rugby. But he was more than that, he was the original great bloke! He was all a decent man, who wanted to make a contribution to his world, could and should aspire to be. 

To sum up Roy’s positive characteristics in a formal tribute would represent a daunting and futile task and one which he, of all people, would quickly reduce to a pompous and slightly ridiculous exercise, with his well -timed wit and natural humility. The years that follow will see many Churchill stories told and retold as his legend will live on and that is exactly how it should be. However, for those of us of my era he functioned as a sort of kindly older brother and a role model for what it meant to be a club man, a rugby man, an Old Penarthian – but above all a decent honourable human being.

Indeed, from my own perspective, he gave me a grounding in basic values at a time I was growing up to be a man and preparing to launch myself into the big wide world. I would recognise Roy Churchill as one of the major influences in my life. I am sure it was a role he would have filled for many and I hope he realised how much he was valued by those around him. To Joyce and the family there are many who will share your sorrow at this time but also many who will give thanks for sharing him with us and allowing us the privilege of knowing him.    

John Saunders

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