It is with great sadness that I have to announce the passing of another past player and friend of the Club, Barry Richardson. Another old boy of the Club, Phil Stott has penned these memories of Barry:
Barry was my friend. I met him at the rugby Club about 40 years ago. He was a skinny 17-year-old who couldn’t get a game on the colts.
Pep brought him to me one day and asked if I could help get him some game time. Of course, I could get him some game time, we were the fourth team, and we were always short of players. Barry was in and he thrived. He grew in confidence and stature and became a pretty good rugby player. He was never going to bother the England selectors, but no one could deny his passion and enthusiasm for the game. He became, what you would call, a good club man and he was Sedgley through and through, a second team regular with the occasional foray into the first team.
Life took us in our different directions, and we drifted apart, but our history, our sport and our rugby club meant that we remained friends. You know the type of friend I mean. The special type of friend that you don’t see for ten years, and when you meet up, usually back at the club for some event or other, you hug in that male, back slapping way, you grab a pint, and the conversation carries on as if you last saw each other yesterday.
You tell the old stories for the 100th time and laugh at the same old punchlines as if you’d never heard them before. For a moment or two, you are young again. You talk about what you do now, about work and families and life in general, but you soon revert back to your shared past as you remember more old stories. That is the type of friends we were. Those precious life-long friends that are few and far between, and I know that Barry had many such friends at Sedgley Park. He was that sort of person, impossible not to like.
So, while we will all miss him and, quite rightly, mourn his loss, let us also, when we can, pledge to meet up and celebrate his life, along with the lives of all our other friends, lost during this terrible time, in the appropriate way. We can meet and tell the tales that are not printable here, we can sink a few pints, sing a few songs and laugh at old jokes, but mostly we can celebrate the lives of our departed friends and be thankful that we knew them, be thankful for our club and for the game that brought us together in the first place.
All our thoughts are with the family and friends of Barry at this very sad time, but we will meet up, as Phil suggests, when we can and have a drink in Barry’s memory. Another life taken too young. RIP Barry.