While Ron had been in ill health for some time news of his death yesterday (5 May) saddened every one at Kirkcaldy RFC.. Having qualified as a solicitor in 1974, Ron came to Kirkcaldy towards the end of that decade to pursue his legal career. Very quickly he appeared at Beveridge Park and cemented a loose head berth in the 2 nd XV. He appeared in several 1 st XV friendly games before his league debut as an emergency hooker against Aberdeen Grammar in 1982 and retaining his place for the next two games before returning to the second team. The Fife Free Press report of that Aberdeen game referred to him as being in the veteran stage of his playing days to which he took strong exception.
However pressure of business soon curtailed his involvement in senior rugby and by 1986 he played his first Zingari game continuing until 1993, making 41 appearances altogether, winning four man of the match awards. When the club's historic visit to Siberia was announced in the summer of 1990 Ron let it be known that he wished to travel to Russia. However the playing party had already been settled and it was thought that our hosts would not allow any additions to this group Ron quickly managed to overcome this red tape by going asthe official supporter, paying his own travel expenses. Once he was in Krasnoyarsk Ron trained assiduously and persuaded coach Terry Trewartha that he he should wear the No 1 jersey in the opening tour fixture.
Whatever success Ron had on the field during this tour it was surely surpassed by a culinary triumph. The food served up in the team hotel ranged from the awful to the execrable and with several players suffering food poisoning morale was dipping fast. One night Ron didn't appear for dinner but then entered from the kitchen, leading waiters carrying trays of chicken and chips. He had persuaded the head chef to let him take over the kitchen and taught the cooks how to prepare these delicacies which were hugely appreciated by the entire party
For most of Ron's time in Kirkcaldy the club made huge demands on his legal expertise. A succession of red carded players had his authoritative voice with them when facing disciplinary hearings at Murrayfield.
Pompous or prejudiced officialdom in Kirkcaldy quickly faded when tackled by Ron and through his efforts the club's local relationships vastly improved, particularly with the council. Ron helped the club to open doors previously barred, enhancing its reputation and Kirkcaldy RFC will forever be in his debt.
The club extends its deepest sympathy to his family. His funeral service will be in Linktown Parish Church followed by interment at Auchtertool Cemetry on Wednesday 11 May at 1.30 pm