Of course my Dad was a rugby player – the clue is in his name.  But he also loved a round of golf at his local club in Kirkby Stephen, where he was known and loved by everyone.

My dad died 3 years ago, aged 63, far too young in my opinion and he certainly still had a lot to give to he world. He is missed by many friends and of course his beloved family, children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces and the list goes on.

Rugby was a big guy, as are most rugby players, and it seems his heart just gave out. I want to know more about his early life and who he was and who he knew as he grew up.  So I’m researching what I can and let’s get it all on record.

Dad was a tree surgeon, Solihull being his first job in the industry. He was always passionate about tree work and I’ll always remember him taking me to work when I was a nipper. It was great to be a part of such a masculine profession and I felt great being around the lads and sharing their sarnies and listening to their bawdy language!  It made me feel grown-up I guess.

Tree care has always been an important part of Rugby’s life as we had a fair-size plot at the family home and he was always pruning and cutting trees to make them look the best in the road.  And he built us a wondrous tree house that was the envy of every kid within 5 miles. It was way up in the tree with a clever system of ladders to reach it. I’m sure my friends’ parents weren’t quite so keen, but the lads thought it was awesome and we spent many a happy day up in the canopy. In fact we often slept there too in the summer. Those were happy and carefree days.

Dad’s career ended one day when he had what we always refer to as “the accident”.  Such a shame because he’d reached 54 without every falling from a tree, but one day they were working on a tree removal  Shirley, Solihull was the venue – we all remember it well.  Dad was harnessed and all was going well when sadly he slipped – no-one knows how, but he banged his head on the trunk, then bounced back and hit it with his upper back.  That resulted in a “scaffolded” repair to his back and he was never able to climb trees again.  But he did still work with trees, so more about that later.

I’ve never built a website before so I’ve no idea how to edit it or rearrange everything, so you’ll just see everything in a bit of a jumble I expect, but if you’re interested, then just wade on through.  I’ll try to be logical and start with Dad’s place of birth.