Barns Green were deeply saddened to learn the news that two of the original members of the club had sadly passed away.
Richie Barrett was a stalwart of the club. Although his playing days were behind him, he was always a presence off the pitch either on the sidelines or in the clubhouse chatting to the players and sharing a beer. A genuine and lovely bloke who will be sorely missed by everyone at Barns Green RFC.
"Many of us will already have heard the very sad news of the recent loss of one of our founder members, Richie Barrett. He had a special place in our Club as a player, supporter and good friend. Richie belonged to that brotherhood of men who are prepared to play in the front row. His 1990’s front rowers remember him as the Dan Cole of BGRFC, a natural prop, strong, committed, loyal, a forthright and robust competitor. He was witty, kind, a top bloke who carried with him a broad knowledge and perception of life that was easy to identify in conversation. Aside of his rugby prowess, his superpower, the thing that made him a special teammate, was his ability to bring many of his life skills together in one moment. He specialised in defusing those random events on a rugby field that often escalate. A quick self-depreciating comment about where he would rather be, a speedy hand up to the robust youngster causing the issue, a wink and smile to the opposition. In less than 5 seconds, escalation was averted. ‘Let’s get on with it. How long to go ref……?’. Thank you, Richie, for being part of our Club. We were better because of you" - Bill Bailey, Club President
The loss of Richie closely followed that of Alfie Dodgson, another founding member of Barns Green RFC and another huge presence in the early days of the club.
"Alfie played with wit, charm, plus significant physical presence in the front row in the 1990’s. We remember him for his unique line-out calls, advice to referee and players alike, consternation every time he did not win the ‘man of the match’ award and his ability to conjure a song out of thin air. ‘Richie get your wad out, Richie get your wad...’ was picked up, tunefully until he did, by over 100 people as Richard Branson welcomed BGRFC to play Virgin Atlantic in 1992. Alfie, you are really going to be missed, from all of your friends at BGRFC" - Bill Bailey, Club President
Both of these men have left us far too soon and we send our thoughts and every best wish to their families and close friends. They will never be forgotten and will be remembered as legends in our Club.