Midlands rugby loses a legend

Midlands rugby loses a legend

Rugby Union in the Midlands has lost a much loved legend with the recent passing of John Ross aged 85.

Ross, who played for Kynoch RFC for many years before becoming President of the club and a well known member of the North Midlands Referees Society.

In 2003 he became President of Birmingham Barbarians RUFC, formed from the merger of Kynoch and Birchfield RUFC, and retained a close interest in the sport until his death whilst on holiday in Greece in September.

His reputation, as a result of his infectious, sparky, cheery personality, spread far and wide and his loss will be felt across the rugby world including in New Zealand, Australia and Argentina as well as Ireland, the country of his birth.

Dave Harman, former chair of Birmingham Barbarians, echoed many of the tributes being expressed about the affectionately known as ‘Rossy’.

“Rossy was larger than life and a rugby legend in every sense. His knowledge and love of the game meant that he was a true rugby man whose personality really did add something to every occasion.

“He was very well known across rugby circles in Birmingham and the Midlands and there will be many who will be raising a toast to the legend that is Rossy!” added Dave.

Former Barbarians club captain Ian Smith, who had known Ross for 33 years since joining Kynoch as a colt in 1989, commented: “Rossy would always bring a smile to your face and will continue to do so for all those who knew him. He had so many stories to tell and there were so many funny comments attributed to him.

“During one game in which he was refereeing a fight broke out between the players and one of the captains asked Ross ‘aren’t you going to stop the fight?’. Ross responded ‘Why? I didn’t start it!’,” added Smith.

The funeral takes place in Ireland next Thursday (6th October) with Birmingham Barbarians set to announce a memorial match in his honour in the coming weeks.

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