We are very sad to announce that Ron Standen has passed away. Ron was our Head Coach for four seasons 2003/04, 2004/05 and 2005/06 and then again in 2008/09. During this time he guided Oaks to our last promotion before last season from Level 7 to 6 in 2004/05. Ron’s main club was Dartfordians for whom he played many seasons and he won his County cap while with them.
During his time at Sevenoaks RFC, Ron had the knack of blending youth with experience, bringing through players such as Robbie Unwin, Tom Hunt, James Garcia, Alex Barber, Luke Harding and of course Tristan Roberts, who has gone on to have a distinguished playing career in the professional game. Now etched in Sevenoaks Rugby Football Club folklore, on a hot sunny day in Jersey, Tristan and his team mates tore Jersey RFC apart, getting the better of a side that had previously not been beaten at home for two years. It was testament to Ron and his backingfor the exciting talented young players in the Club and something that is very much at the forefront of Sevenoaks RFC Seniors now.
Alongside that day in Jersey, Ron’s coaching highlight at the Paddock was overseeing the Club’s promotion to London One. A team bursting with talent, it was the camaraderie and trust Ron, Stuart Thresher and his captain George Roffey built throughout the squad that enabled them to have such success. Former President Howard Pearl recalls ‘Ron made many enduring friends when he was with us and even after he stopped coaching he and his wife Pat often came up to watch matches and exercise their dogs at the same time.’
Club Chairman Trevor Nicholson paid tribute to Ron saying ‘It is very sad to hear of Ron’s passing- a true rugby man, a family man in every sense, and friend of our club. It seems all too often that we hear of another member of our rugby family that is no longer with us, but perhaps serves as a reminder for all of us to 'seize the day’ and make the most of everything we are given.’
Trevor continued ‘Ron was our Head Coach for four very productive seasons; he gave his advice and leadership in quiet but firm style, listened to the opinions of others, and modestly allowed the players to take the glory they had earned through his guidance. He encouraged self-belief and adventure in younger players and confident leadership in those with more experience to draw upon, creating an enjoyable collegiate atmosphere- not a bad formula for a successful rugby team and for life too.’
‘We pray that he may rest in peace.’
Current Sevenoaks RFC Senior Squad Backs Coach Mark Reay represented the 1st XV for a number of years and began his Club career with Ron as Head Coach. Mark recalls ‘Twelve or so years ago having just moved into the area from Edinburgh I went along to Sevenoaks Rugby Club on a cold October evening. Within two weeks I felt part of a rugby family. Ron as head coach played a massive part in this for me. Along with skipper George Roffey, Ron was the first person I was introduced to and he made me feel so welcome. Over the next couple of years I learnt a huge amount from Ron, both in terms of backs play and more importantly the way the squad were made to feel valued. It was no surprise that we went on to gain promotion to London One that season.’
Mark continued ‘I will miss chatting with Ron after a game. He was a frequent supporter of the 1st XV long after he finished as Head Coach and his support and guidance was invaluable to me as I made the transition into coaching. Thank you Ron, we will all miss you.’
All of our thoughts are with Pat, Ron's family and our friends at Dartfordians RFC. From everyone at Sevenoaks Rugby Football Club, Rest in peace, Ron, and travel well.
There will be a one minute silence to remember Ron, a true rugby man and a top bloke through and through, before Saturday's match. The funeral will be held at Eltham Crematorium on Wednesday 15 February at 12:30pm then at Dartfordians RFC.