Tributes pour in for former RFU president and founder of St Albans Rugby Club Peter Baines: ‘He was always a St Albans man’

Prince Harry and Princess Anne with former RFU president Peter Baines during the 2017 RBS 6 Nations

Prince Harry and Princess Anne with former RFU president Peter Baines during the 2017 RBS 6 Nations match with Scotland at Twickenham. Picture: ANDREW MATTHEWS/PA WIRE - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Tributes have flooded in from across the rugby spectrum for a former president of the RFU who was simply a true “St Albans man”.

Peter Baines lost his battle with cancer at the age of 76 last week just 10 days after Peter Clarkson, 60, another long-standing committee man at the Boggymead club.

Peter helped found the club off Oaklands Lane in 1970 and was a committee member and chairman for 15 years.

His love of the game eventually took him to Twickenham where he became president during the 2016-17 season.

Clubs from across the county held their own minute’s silences prior to games this weekend.

But it was still St Albans that he called home.

Terry Evans said: “To many people Peter Baines was St Albans Rugby Club.

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“His endeavours and perseverance took us from playing on a council pitch and using a pub as a club house, to the facilities we have today.

“But even though his elevation took him to the highest levels of management in English rugby, he was always a St Albans man and often would turn up to watch a game.

“Along with his with Sue, he even brought his grandchildren to the Sunday morning mini rugby sessions.

“He was a man of great talent and ability and added value to the game of rugby as it is today.

“But he always remembered his beginnings and maintained his passion for the grassroots game and his love of St Albans.”

Among many other roles at Twickenham, he was chair of the Rugby Football Union for Women Integration Task Group, helping to ensure a smooth integration of the women’s game with the RFU.

He was also a founding trustee of both the RFU Injured Players Foundation and Rugby Football Foundation.

Chris Kelly, current RFU president, said: “Everyone at the RFU and all in the game who knew Peter will be saddened by this news. Peter was president only two years ago and will be hugely missed.

“He has left a considerable legacy for rugby union in England and Sue and the family are very much in our thoughts.”

Ian Ritchie, chairman of Premiership Rugby, said: “He will be remembered fondly across the game and in particular for the key role he played in the development of the women’s game.”