Posted: 08.09.20 at 09:59 by Ralph Henderson
THURROCK sporting and education communities are mourning the loss of one of the borough’s great characters.
Allan Jones was a legendary teacher who worked with great distinction at The Grays School, Culverhouse and more latterly at William Edwards.
He was the Deputy Head who literally ran Culverhouse and was the architect of numerous projects such as the building of the Community Swimming Pool.
He was a master timetabler and brilliant teacher. After his retirement. He came to work at William Edwards where he became its Business Adviser and achieved great success in winning grants for education. One of his greatest achievements resulted in the construction of a Saxon Dwelling for the school's history students and a grant for a Community cinema. His achievements were innumerable.
Allan came to Thurrock as a young teacher with his wife, Merryl in the sixties and played at half -back for Thurrock Rugby Club.
A product of Cardiff Training College, he was a contemporary of future Wales captain and Lions' coach, Clive Rowlands.
His former colleague in education and on the rugby field, Ralph Henderson, says: “I had watched him play as a young man for Abertillery as understudy to Wales and Lions scrum -half Allan Lewis where he performed superbly. I was thrilled to meet him again when I joined Thurrock in 1970.
“A great friend of Lew Hughes, Roger Jones, Clive Banbury, Mike Stephenson, Bernie Hodgkins, Clive Beynon and many hundreds more he eventually retired to Wales but continued to work for the Thurrock Community and the Rugby Club to great effect.”
Allan's sons,Ian and Ceri,were also outstanding players and products of William Edwards School.
Ian continued his rugby education in New Zealand before taking up employment in the city and becoming one of Thurrock's great scrum-halves in the nineties.
Allan was dedicated to his family and was a great influence on their lives.
His son Ceri says: "Dad was taken unwell on Friday afternoon and passed away in hospital with us by his bedside.
"We are devastated to lose him, he loved us all unconditionally and was an amazing man, husband, father, father-in-law, and Papa to five wonderful grandchildren. We will all miss him immensely."
Mr Henderson adds: “I was privileged, with Lew to go down to stay with Allan and Merryl on numerous occasions. Always the most convivial hosts, we shared some memorable evenings.
“Allan Jones was a great inspiration to me and numerous others. He had a fine sense of humour and was the best of company. A truly great Rugby man and family man. He will never be forgotten.
“Our love and condolences to Allan's family from his rugby family.”