Tributes follow the death of Thurrock-based doctor and sportsman

By Nub News Reporter

29th Jul 2023 | Tributes

Men of Thurrock rugby: from left - Dr Doug Smith, Carwyn James, Clive Beynon, Dr Alastair Farquharson and Barry Lawrence.
Men of Thurrock rugby: from left - Dr Doug Smith, Carwyn James, Clive Beynon, Dr Alastair Farquharson and Barry Lawrence.

TRIBUTE has been paid following the death of a man described as 'one of the great men of the borough'.

Dr Alastair Farquharson was also a hugely influential figure at Thurrock Rugby club where he was an 'outstanding player, tough as teak and a role model for future players' including his son Andrew.

Thurrock Rugby club Stalwart Ralph Henderson says: "Alastair was a crash-tackling centre who played alongside the equally direct Dave Cheshire in an uncompromising midfield partnership.

"His partnership at the Club with Dr.Doug Smith made Thurrock the envy of the Rugby fraternity.

"Doug Smith was, of course, the legendary manager of the only British Lions team to win a Test Series in New Zealand in 1971. He was dubbed "the witch-doctor" because of his extraordinary ability to predict the outcome of those matches.

"Alastair and Doug even persuaded Carwyn James, the Lions coach(and probably the World's greatest coach at the time) to come up and coach Thurrock, much to the delight of Clive Beynon and Mick Leckenby amongst others.

"Alastair was such a good influence on the club with his positive approach to what was achievable. He took the players on a memorable tour to Wales; unforgettable for players like John Mahoney and Ray Davies. Indeed, an inspiration to us all.

"A visionary leader, Alastair became the Chairman of Thurrock and, later, the President, during a golden era when Thurrock swept all before them and became one of the top English clubs.

"Alastair was the most convivial of men and a fabulous human being.

"As a professional, he was simply the best; so outstanding that a hospital unit was named after him at Thurrock Community Hospital.

"All those who were privileged to know him were so fortunate to be touched by his humility, generosity and decency and will never forget him.

"It was always an honour to spend time in his company and what a legacy he has left for Thurrock and Scotland."


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