Tribute to Thurrock rugby stalwart and teacher Jeff - a true legend!

  Posted: 23.11.21 at 14:51 by The Editor

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TRIBUTE has been paid to one of Thurrock's great characters - Jeff Selway, a hugely respected teacher and one if the stalwarts of Thurrock Rugby Club who died last night (Monday, 23 November).

Mr Selway has battled a number off illnesses for many years but remained upbeat and a constant presence at Oakfield, home of the rugby club he came to love.

Ralph Henderson has penned the following tribute to his friend, fellow educationalist and rugby colleague:

IT is with great sadness and respect that we have to inform you of the passing away of a true Thurrock legend, Jeff Selway.

Jeff was a product of Abertillery Grammar School, before training as a teacher at Avery Hill College.At Abertillery, he was a fine scholar, where he had been inspired by Music teacher, Martin Budd.

A chorister, member of the Madrigal group and brilliant trumpeter, he ensured, with his pal, Huw Lewis, that his house always won the Eisteddfod! Of course when he came to Thurrock , he became a leading light in the Aveley Band and, in recent years, its President. Indeed he had just been to a meeting on the night of his passing!

As a teacher, Jeff was peerless. A mathematician, he was always aware of the importance of the computer revolution in schools and soon became an expert in passing on his knowledge to students.

His magnificent sense of humour was a real asset and he was loved by the many thousands he taught in Grays, Aveley and Gravesend. Legend is a word often used too readily, but it hardly does justice to describe Jeff Selway.

A fine rugby player in his own right, his early retirement meant he would serve Thurrock Rugby Club in many other ways.

He became its treasurer and guided the club through to charitable status and spent countless hours ensuring that it got through the most difficult times.

He spent much of his life producing Match Day Programmes for both the men's and ladies' teams.

His Match day humour and particularly groundstaff tales will never be forgotten!
The Ladies team, loved him dearly and he was their greatest champion.

He followed them everywhere and even got back from Wales on Sunday to see the second half of their game against Buckingham Ladies.

One of his old schoolmates was Steve Lewis, who went on to become the Chief Executive of the Welsh Rugby Union!

Jeff was proud of his Welsh heritage and always managed to go on tours with his great friends like Rolf Jones, Lew Hughes, Clive Beynon and his son James.

In spite of a difficult year, Jeff had managed to go to the Principality Stadium on Saturday for the first time in nine years and see Wales prevail against Australia in the last minute! Then he hurried back to Thurrock to be with his beloved Ladies team!

I used to joke that, when we were in school together, Jeff had to polish my rugby boots. In truth, I wasn't fit to "lace his boots"!

A wonderful teacher, clubman, friend and genuine Thurrock legend!

Jeff Selway leaves a beloved wife, Christine, a son, two daughters and his dear mother . All our love and condolences go to them in their time of need.

We can all be inspired by Jeff's life He had been seriously unwell over many years, yet always retained a brilliant sense of humour and lived life beyond the full! A remarkable life and one we were all privileged to share on occasions.

In the words of the song we used to sing: " There's a goldmine in the sky - - -"

Thurrock play Brentwood at home on Saturday. Kick off is at 2.30pm and there will be a minute's applause before the start in Jeff's honour.

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