Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 15°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Bury St Edmunds: Rugby club remembers the 18 players and officials that died in 1974 Paris air crash

10:11 10 March 2014

Bury v East Grinstead. Players held 
o
ne minutes silence for the players who lost their lives in a plane crash 40 years ago

Bury v East Grinstead. Players held o ne minutes silence for the players who lost their lives in a plane crash 40 years ago

Archant

It was a “special, special” day at Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club on Saturday as the town paid tribute to those that lost their lives in a plane crash 40 years ago.

The club’s match against East Grinstead marked an emotional day of events to honour 18 of the club’s players and officials who were among 346 that died in the 1974 Paris air crash.

Dozens of friends and family of those who died reunited to mark the crash’s 40th anniversary, with special scenes off the pitch matched by arguably the club’s best performance this season as they ran out 13-8 winners.

The club’s current youth chairman Gordon Ellis was eight-years-old when his father Bryan, who was club chairman at the time, died in the accident.

Gordon said: “It affected us all in very different ways. A wife lost a husband, a father lost a child, a brother lost a sister, a sister lost a brother, but the people who were left behind, some of the friends of the people who died lost 20 friends. For some people, it’s taken this long to heal.

“It was a celebration. I didn’t know how it was going to go – you never do – but it couldn’t have been better. I met old friends, and new friends from East Grinstead. It emphasises not just what Bury is about, but what rugby is about.

“Not only was it well organised, but it was just the right tone. It was a wonderful day, a special, special day, and I hope those that came enjoyed it.”

Monday last week marked 40 years to the day since the plane crashed into woodland just minutes after take-off, and Mr Ellis was among a group that travelled to the crash site to pay their respects.

Eighty-seven cyclists have signed up for a memorial bike ride to mark the tragedy in May, and will travel from the site of the crash at Ermenonville back to the rugby club. The funds will be split between the club and St Nicholas Hospice Care.

Current club chairman Mike Robinson described the day as “outstanding”.

He added: “The atmosphere at the club was fantastic and the players really did the club proud. It was a great crowd and it was so moving to see so many of the people we hadn’t seen at the club for so many years.

“It was exactly the sort of tribute we wanted to give the guys who died. All the families were really appreciative of what the club had laid on.

“But it wasn’t only about paying tribute to the guys that lost their lives, but also to many of the guys who were left behind and had to rebuild the club. The club could have folded at that point and it was important to recognise their efforts.”

To sponsor the memorial cycle visit www.justgiving.com/memorialcycleride

0 comments

David Ellesmere

Members of Suffolk County Council meet today for a crucial meeting to decide whether regional devolution can go ahead.

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge is backing Theresa May as the new Tory leader - and Prime Minister.

As campaigning starts in the race to become the next leader of the Conservative Party – and Prime Minister – MPs in Suffolk are assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates.

Lucy and Sophie Earthroll. Photo: Stephanie Mackentyre.

A Felixstowe mum has spoken of the “absolutely horrible” moment she feared her teenage daughter might have been a victim of the Istanbul airport terrorist attack.

Peter and Sylvia Stuart

The arrested son-in-law of murdered Weybread couple Peter and Sylvia Stuart now faces no further action, police have confirmed.

One of the vintage cars to appear at Heveningham Hall's inaugural Concours d’Elegance

A Suffolk estate has announced a “spectacular” line-up of classic cars to appear at its popular country fair.

Ben Hayford will be appearing on Alan Titchamrsh's Love Your Garden on Tuesday, July 5. Ben is pictured at his home in Stowmarket.

A Suffolk tree surgeon may become something of a TV personality after being invited back on to a primetime series.

Stock image of the A12.

A woman has been seriously injured after a collision between a Ford Fiesta and a lorry on the A12 northbound today (June 29).

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24