Lewes Rugby Club members mourn great friend and supporter Jim

Lewes RFC have expressed great sadness over the death of Jim Jackson.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 2:00 pm
Jim enjoying himself at a match

The 78-year-old died peacefully in hospital in Bergerac, France, on February.

Jim and his wife Jill were great supporters of the club, and were the founder-sponsors of its successful women's section via his internationally-renowned business, Aspects Beauty Ltd., based in South Chailey and a distributor of fragrance and beauty products to the most famous fashion houses throughout the world.

Although initially becoming a fan of the men's game (and a keen attendee of the boisterous pre-match lunches) it was while attending one of the first XV's home matches at the Stanley Turner Ground that a serendipity moment occurred for Jim, as explained by long-standing player Rab Willis:

Jim Jackson (in the shades) with the Lewes women's team, to whom he gave great support

"It was warm spring day in 2010 and one of the last men’s XV league games of the season that a member of the Lewes women’s squad made an impassioned, if somewhat inebriated, speech on the sidelines that caught Jim Jackson’s attention.

"A polite summary was that Lewes Women’s Rugby deserved a chance to thrive, to give women and girls the best opportunities to enjoy our beloved sport and we needed help. Undeterred by the colourful use of language, Jim stepped forward to pledge his support and the rest was history.

"Jim was a much-loved member of Lewes Rugby Club. Over the years at games, social events and in the clubhouse, he never failed to stop for a catch-up over a glass of dubious rugby club wine. His support of the women’s section in particular is a legacy to be proud of.

"Jim’s efforts directly contributed to the development of one of the most successful sides in Sussex. From running out on a Sunday in matching shirts and warm-up gear, to supporting the marketing and branding of the section; from to cheering us from the sidelines to contributing to meals or accommodation on tour: Jim’s generous support helped to build a brand of women’s rugby that made us proud to wear the Lewes shirt.

"A true gentleman and a hero to us all, we will think of him when his boom box plays inappropriately loud tunes and raise a glass of dubious wine when we can all be together again."

The club is sending its deepest condolences to Jill and the family during this sad and difficult time.