16 June 2020 / Club News

Tribute to Richie Clarke

Richie Clarke (1945 – 2020)

Richie Clarke was loved and respected by all who knew, played or worked with him. Richie sadly passed away on the 14th June, aged 75, after a short but stubborn battle against an aggressive illness. Richie served as a police officer for just over 30 years, ending his distinguished career as Detective Chief Inspector – effectively the commander of CID in his operational area. He was respected by all his colleagues – and even criminals! He was a great people-person and always had the welfare of his colleagues at heart, whilst being a firm but fair gaffer. Richie retired from the force in 1999 and was soon part of a small group of former officers who met on a Monday – usually at a Wetherspoons pub because it was cheap! This small group grew to around 100, and Richie was very much at the heart of this close group of friends and colleagues.

Richie was a formidable prop and played regularly for Rhiwbina RFC during the 1980’s. He never gave an inch in the scrums, which is all he was expected to do in those days – tackling and running props hadn’t been invented! The fact that he was Commander of the CID did have its problems for Rhiwbina RFC at times, none more so than at a 1st XV game at Pentyrch at one time. Half way through the first half a Pentyrch member ran from the clubhouse shouting ‘is there a Richie Clarke on the pitch’?  There had been a murder, so Richie was required to depart the pitch, have a quick change and get to the scene of the misdemeanour to lead the investigations, leaving the reluctant Steve Neal to replace him in the front row!

After his retirement Richie started to get involved with the running of Rhiwbina Recreation Club and, over a period of some 25 years has held the post of Secretary, Chairman and, until his passing, President. No job at the Rec was too small or difficult for Richie, and he devoted hours of his life to help establishing the Rec as the cornerstone of the community which it is today.

He will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with his devoted wife Rose and her friends and family at this sad time.

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