At last Monday’s AGM Ernie Crookell stood down as President after a record-equalling 16 year stint heading the club. He becomes the only surviving past-president the club has had since 1925, from when we have continuous records of officials.
Ernie Crookell joined us in the early 1950s at the age of 28. Given that he is 88 next birthday this brings up 60 years as a member of Eccles RFC, a period only surpassed by Bill Lowe and Ken Faulkner. Such long service has many memories but to pick just one:
At some time in the 70s, just as his eye sight appropriately started to fail, he took up refereeing. At the start of the first match of each season he could be heard explaining to the fifth team captains that he wasn’t yet familiar with the new laws introduced by that summer, therefore the game would be played under the previous year’s instructions.
Ernie played a significant part in the self-build of the clubhouse in 1983-4 and has always been a key player in the character of the club and a keen tourist. In 1998 Ernie took over the Presidency and has been an active supporter, making it his business to be at Colts and Ladies games on Sunday as well as his hosting duties on a Saturday.
Ernie is well known around the clubs particularly by those few lady members and spouses, that have attended the pre and post match get togethers over the years, and to whom Ernie has dedicated his attention.
We all offer our immense thanks for his contributions over the years and look forward to seeing Ernie relaxing in his new found liberty, free from the chains of office.
Details of the new committee and captains will be published next week.
Andy Brunt, Eccles RFC President-Elect