Lewes RFC pay tribute to club stalwart Paddy Delaney - a wonderful ambassador for rugby

Lewes RFC stalwart Paddy Delaney has passed away after a long illness aged 52.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 9:21 am
Paddy and Jason Leonard MBE

Paddy played for the Club as a youth, through to the Senior ranks and then coaching the Mini’s/Juniors - including his own son.

Paddy was a great ambassador for our wonderful sport and no-one will forget his participation in our renowned rugby tours abroad and many post-match social sessions.

As a player, Paddy will be remembered for his outstanding and passionate play and also for his rapport with various referees, usually involving who had the correct interpretation of the rugby laws.

Paddy in 1st XV squad, 2007.

When he was a teenager, Paddy was the first Lewes player to visit New Zealand for a year on an exchange programme with Tawa Rugby Club, Wellington.

Paddy had a wicked sense of humour, as the founder of that programme, Paddy Secretan - another long-standing member of the Club - recalls: “I was involved in an incident at Plumpton Racecourse when, while debating what bets to place, I was asked by 2 uniformed security men to accompany them “outside” to discuss “a serious matter”.

“It was only then that it was revealed that the whole thing was a prank, set up by Paddy Delaney himself who was, at that time, employed by the same security company!

Paddy was a great fan of England Rugby World Cup winner, and fellow prop-forward, Jason Leonard, MBE whom Paddy was pleased to meet when Jason was guest speaker at one of Lewes RFC’s “Sportsmen Evenings” (where Paddy was also awarded the Club’s “Clubman of the Year “ award).

Paddy at Tawa RFC, NZ.

And so LRFC has to say farewell to another of its favourite sons in what has been a difficult 12 months for one of Sussex’s greatest rugby clubs.

The club sends is sincerest sympathies to Paddy’s family and friends at this sad time.

To honour Paddy’s memory - and those of all the other players and friends the Club has lost over the last year - it is hoped to hold a special rugby match between a Lewes XV and a Sussex President’s XV when the current pandemic restrictions have been relaxed, possibly in September - the start of the forthcoming new season - further details to follow in due course.