It is with great sadness that we must announce the death of Roger Smith, who passed away suddenly after a short illness. We extend our deepest sympathies to the Smith family on the sad and premature loss of a husband, father, son and brother.
"Roger played a huge part in my personal enjoyment at Sevenoaks Rugby Club," writes Trevor Nicholson, Club Chairman. "As a constant fixture in the 1st XV on countless tours and every social occasion, he was the consummate club man. Roger will be sorely missed by all those who were lucky enough to know him. What a deeply sad loss. There are some in the moment recollections of the great man below and, thanks to Howard Pearl, a short playing record.
Roger's funeral is on 31 May 2017 at 11.45am at Basingstoke Crematorium. Roy, Eve and Mark would be happy to see any of his rugby mates, wearing a club blazer if you have one.
Rog played in the 1st XV for five seasons 88/89 to 92/93 inclusive as key playmaker in the team over that time, recalls Howard: "He forced his way into our 'Super Season' team of 88/89 when we won promotion back to Kent 1 and by the following season was a regular 1st teamer. As the handbook notes, 'Roger Smith and Chris Parkin, the two centres, had good games, particularly in defence, which was to be a feature of their game for the second half of the season.' The 91/92 report says, 'In the 3/4s Roger Smith deserves a mention, as always. For the second year in succession he is the player who has played the most fixtures and with his apologies perhaps next year he’ll score a few more tries while still supplying as many!'.
"It appears that 92/93 was Roger’s final season with us. The report says: 'I thank Colin Norton and Roger Smith and wish them well in their new ventures. Roger especially springs to mind as once again he has shown a high level of commitment to the side, and I feel he enjoyed his best season of rugby.'"
"Roger will be missed terribly by his family and everyone." Chi Chi
"Carpe Diem - Roger certainly subscribed to that." Bill Park
"Tragic news indeed. I have such great memories of Roger in my early days of 1st XV management – a really dedicated stalwart of the squad and great fun to be with. Will raise a glass to him in Italy. He would have loved to be there." Chris Birch
"I always remember the 'shoot the boot' drinks we had out of his cowboy boots after some games. A great, happy go lucky bloke who loved rugby and having fun." Chris Crang
"An absolute shock. A fantastic centre, the life and soul socially, introduced post-match moisturiser into the 1st XV changing room and an asset to any boat race team. He will be dearly missed and my thoughts go out to Mark, Roy and Eve." Hutch
"I have known about Roger's illness and still cannot believe that a young man with a wife and young child and a bright future has been so cruelly taken. I will remember Roger as a happy person always smiling and a good and committed Rugby player." Steve Manley