OORUFC Club News
Norman Coates 1937-2023


For almost 40 years Norman was a stalwart of not only 'Ensians but also of Yorkshire RFU, reaching the peak of his achievements when elected by the County to be their President .

Norman was born in 1937 in Otley and passed his 11+ Exam to become educated at PHGS.

He joined the Grenadier Guards for National Service a period which had a great influence on his future life. His stories about his exploits were legendary, being most interesting and humorous.

He married Ann in 1960 having a most happy life together and had two children Simon and Lindsy.

Norman became involved with rugby when Simon joined 'Ensians as a colt in 1986. Norman joined the Club and quickly became involved in coaching and supporting the colts. He soon progressed to be on the coaching team for the Yorkshire under 19's and under 20's enjoying every minute and leading the under 20's to National success at Twickenham on numerous occasions until he retired through illness.

He was also deeply involved with the YRFU Disciplinary Committee a task taking up much of his time and efforts. One of his early tasks was to put the 'Ensians on the straight and narrow by setting up their Disciplinary rules and procedures.

He was Chairman of 'Ensians for a number of years before passing over the baton when he was elected President Of Yorkshire RFU .He had been been elected as a member of the County Committee some years earlier and served on many different roles for the County. This was a supreme honour not only for Norman, Ann and their family but also for the 'Ensians. Everyone involved with the Club was delighted to hear of this well earned achievement.

Sadly Norman became diagnosed with Cancer in 2022 but was still able to come to the Monday morning gang and entice us with the pies he bought at the Sunday morning market and entertain us with his many stories.

Norman touched many lives and will be fondly remembered and missed by all he knew. A fitting and most sincere celebration of his life was held at Otley Parish Church on the 30th August 2023 followed by a wake most fittingly at the 'Ensians Clubhouse.

RIP Norman