A link with the past has gone, writes Mike Mauduit

Peter joined the Club after the war and remained a member for over 65 years. Phrases like "a real club stalwart" and "a pillar of the club" are often heard but in Peter's case they are absolutely true. That is exactly what he was.

His chief attribute as a player was his versatility: he would play in any position and in fact a member recalled that he played fly half for the 1st XV one week and second row the next. In later years his long baggy shorts were to be seen playing in the centre for the A XV. A determined player and an uncompromising defender: he was a good man to have on your side.

When his playing days were over he played a huge part in the development and running of the club. The amount of time he devoted to the club is unbelievable and he did exactly the same for the Vine in the summer.

He served on the Management Committee for many years in his capacity as Chairman of the Selectors. A meeting every Monday evening ended with him writing and posting the selection cards in some years to as many as 6 sides. Inevitably unavailability arose and Peter was in the middle moving players around and keeping the peace between the various skippers. If in real trouble you went to Peter as the last hope and usually he managed to conjure up another player from somewhere.

Practically he would often be acting as touch judge and if he wasn't doing that he would be striding up and down the touchline in his trademark mac and wellies  bellowing encouragement with his favourite shout, 'A good shove on the now Oaks'. When the game was over Peter frequently acted as Field Steward, whether he was or not, collecting up the balls, the touch flags and banners no matter what the weather. Often he was last into the Clubhouse. 
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To fulfill his role as Chairman of Selectors Peter did not  watch just the First XV. Rain or shine he would travel away to watch the lower sides. A member recalled the time when the Acorns were playing a team near the south coast and Peter watched the entire game in the pouring rain to see them grind out a 3 nil win in the last minute. He wanted to ensure that all players realised that a selector was interested in them and also that no "stars" were left languishing in the lower sides. 

In later years he combined with his great friend Henry Steven to watch and encourage the young players.They realised that they represented the ongoing life blood of the club and the size and success of our present mini segment is partially due to their foresight.  This resulted in the Williams - Steven Cup presented at the Club dinner to the Supporter of the Year. The recipient's name is put on an Honours Board which is a constant reminder of his huge contribution to the success of our Club. 

Peter you have done so much for our Club that it cannot all be recorded here. We are more grateful than words can express for everything you have done. You will be missed but you have left behind an example which we will find difficult to follow.

You have worked very hard for us and now it is time for you to have a rest so, Peter, thank you and rest in peace.

Peter's funeral takes place at St Peter & Paul's Church, Shoreham at 3:00pm on Monday 21 December. Dress: Blazer & Club tie.

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