Deane Rockall passed away quietly in his sleep, overnight on Monday 12th April 2021.
The term “Legend” is often bandied about nowadays. It is with great sadness that the players, members and supporters of Abingdon Rugby Club, learnt that a true legend of our Club passed away last week. A minute silence in his memory, was held before the Return to Rugby game, at the Clubhouse on Saturday 17th.
Deane Rockall, known to everyone who knew him as Deano, was a First XV player and latterly a popular figure around the Clubhouse. He was witty, amusing, and always ready with a funny story. His adventures as a tourist, over 35 years, are always worth re-telling. But of course, what happens on tour, stays on tour!
It was in 1986, that Deano first played First Team Rugby. He played as an adventurous full back, blessed with a tackling technique that relied on hanging on to his opponent, and eventually, with luck, dragging him down.
Those who played with him will remember his unique, but effective place kicking style, where the ball sometimes seemed to sprout wings and flutter over the crossbar.
As well as playing Rugby, he was an excellent cricketer, playing for Dorchester in the summer months. He was also a knowledgeable countryman, and a fine shot.
We all remember Deano in our Clubhouse. Watching Club games, and Internationals on TV. He had a ready wit, and a ready thirst. If guffaws of laughter were audible, Deano was often at the centre of it.
He never missed a Club tour, since first travelling to Paris in 1986. In his playing days, he showed himself well capable of not sleeping all weekend, and still playing in two games. He was always at the centre of the entertainment. If you want to know any more “Deano on Tour” stories, ask someone who was there!
Saturday’s Return to Rugby, after the pandemic lockdown easing was a great day. The sun shone, Rugby was back, a large crowd was present, and the beer flowed. Deano would have loved it. We shall all miss him.