Old Yardleians RFC: Club News

Ivor Enock - a tribute by Dave Collen

Mon, 30 Nov 2015 12:00

I was greatly saddened to hear of Ivor’s untimely death. We were contemporaries during, perhaps, the most difficult period in the history of Old Yardleians RFC.

As a player, Ivor was a rock solid, loose head prop, unbending and immoveable. In all our games together, over many seasons, OYs rarely lost a scrum against the head. He was ‘old school’ in sorting out the technicalities of scrummaging – and relished the prospect of a bit of ‘afters’ with the opposition tight head. He was also ‘old school’ in enjoying a drink, with the opposition, after the game. Indeed, his expertise in drinking games was legendary; he was invariably the last one standing.

As a clubman Ivor was heavily involved in the move to Whitlock’s End, and the building of the new clubhouse in 1965/66. Ivor worked for John Laing Ltd as a quantity surveyor, which gave him the opportunity to procure building materials, needed for the project. In addition to which, he was often to be seen, with sleeves rolled up, helping out with the build.

Later, Ivor worked on construction projects in the Middle East, and memorably, on completion of one lucrative project, sent his pal Bill Davis, a cheque for a large sum, with the simple instruction – “coming home, buy me a Morgan”
More recently he worked on Heathrow Terminal Five, where he contracted the illness which severely affected the rest of his life. He dealt with this, with characteristic stoicism, and unfailing good humour. The severity of his illness can be gauged by the fact that at one stage, in his recovery, he received the last rites, of the Roman Catholic Church. He told the story in his own inimical way – “I was lying there with tubes in every orifice, when I heard some muttering. I opened one eye to see this bloke, wearing a cloak, carrying a big book, bloody hell, I thought, it’s worse than I thought!”  Ivor was in fact an Anglican; the last rites were arranged by his dear friend Mac, who later became his wife. Ivor was proud of the fact that he avoided matrimony for most of his life, describing himself as “never raced or rallied”.

Ivor was a passionate supporter of England Rugby, and even when his mobility was severely impaired, completed his ambition to attend every one of England’s Six Nations matches, home and away, in a single season.

I am proud to have known Ivor, shared his company, played Rugby with him, and in later years, reminisced about times past. My thoughts are with Mac, at this sad time.

Dave Collen

Thanks, Dave. 
The vast majority of Rugby Clubs have a mixture of characters and these players and club members pass on their skills,both on the pitch and in the bar,to the next generation. That is, in a nutshell, how great clubs like ours evolve. It is also highly likely that the clubs without such personalities fade into oblivion. Therefore, we have a lot to thank Ivor for and whenever you recover from hangovers that occur as a result of drinking games or snorting snuff , you can thank Ivor and his generation of 'Old Yardleians.

It is interesting to note that the R.C. Priest was so quick off the mark.
Ivor, from the Old Yards and from myself, Rest In Peace.

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