With much regret we report the death of Stan Clews at the age of 87.
The majority of current Longton Rugby Club members will know little or nothing about Stan. However, a decreasing number of older members will remember Stan as the towering figure in the early days of Old Longtonians RUFC in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
He was captain in two spells for a total of at least 10 years over this period. Stan was a good player but his main strength was his charismatic and effective leadership. He played at scrum-half, an ideal position for him and the team. In those days the Club had no facilities and relied totally on school facilities. In these circumstances, the thing that allowed the club to thrive was the bond between the players and Stan’s leadership.
The Sentinel’s rugby correspondent at this time, Ray Pardoe called Stan ‘‘Mr Old Longtonians’’ a title that was richly deserved. It was a major blow to the club when Stan left in the late 1960’s on his appointment as Head of a secondary school in Bedford. Fortunately, Stan’s departure coincided with an influx of talented youngsters including Terry Keeling and John Davis and the Club soon flourished again.
We last saw Stan when he came up for a game at Roughcote, but ill-health prevented him coming to Trentham Fields which is a shame because he would have been delighted and amazed at what ‘‘his club’’ had achieved.