RUGBY: OLs pay tribute to Old Laurentian Society chairman Paul Simpson

Luke Townsend scored OLs' only try against Earlsdon in their Warwickshire Shield game on Saturday
Luke Townsend scored OLs' only try against Earlsdon in their Warwickshire Shield game on Saturday
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Shadow team beaten by strong Earlsdon side in Warwickshire Shield

Old Laurentian RFC is saddened to report the passing of Paul Simpson, who died suddenly on Boxing Day.

Universally known as ‘Simmo’, Paul had been a leading light in the wider Old Laurentian community for many years.

He was Chairman of the Old Laurentian Society, the parent body of the rugby club; Secretary of the Laurentian Sports Club, which manages the clubhouse and grounds at Fenley Field on the Society’s behalf; and a dedicated supporter of the club.

Far from being just a figurehead in those organisations, Paul was quite the opposite – he was a doer.

The clubhouse, although extended and improved, has been around in much its present form for some 70 years and is in constant need of maintenance and repair.

The man who invariably got on and did all the regular and vital work to keep it in trim was Paul Simpson, frequently unseen and probably unrecognised by the large majority of club members – if it needed doing, he did it.

Not only that, but he also ensured that the bar was well managed and run with enviable efficiency, thanks in large part to the support from his wife Helen and brother in law Chris Tew.

A man of few words – actions spoke louder in his book – with a wry sense of humour and always with wise counsel to offer, his presence and his influence will be sorely missed. As one club member wrote in tribute, the word ‘stalwart’ barely does him justice.

The best wishes and condolences of the whole OL community are extended to Helen and Chloe and to all of Paul’s wider family and friends.

Bill Wallis

Warwickshire Shield 2nd Round

Earlsdon 72 Old Laurentians 7

As the score line suggests, OLs were able to muster no more than a shadow team for this Warwickshire Shield tie and paid the price when going down to a comprehensive defeat inflicted by a strong Earlsdon outfit, writes Bill Wallis.

Injuries and the inevitable non-availability of players over the Christmas period meant that the team consisted largely of 2nd and 3rd team regulars but they stuck to their task manfully, none more so than OL’s man of the match Andy Thorne, lacing his boots for a very rare appearance.

He had been promised an early substitution, but that was rendered impossible when OLs had to use all their replacements through injuries robbing them of three of their more experienced players inside 30 minutes.

One of those replacements, Tom Steatham, put in an heroic tackling shift to try and stem the flow, inspired by the example of skipper for the day, Ben Anderson.

Earlsdon ran in 11 tries, OLs replying with a single converted try, Luke Townsend supporting a run by Ben Shepherd, who was relieved to find the wing on his shoulder after a long run.

# OLs face a crucial league fixture this Saturday when travelling to play league leaders Oadby Wyggestonians in the first of their reverse fixtures. Oadby have suffered just one defeat this season and that was at the hands of OLs back in September, so the Fenley Field men will be looking to do the double at the weekend.

It will be a tough task, with several key players not available and injury doubts over more, but OLs will travel intent on kicking off 2018 with a win.