Old Otliensians RUFC President George Leach: 1926-2023
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Rugby Club stalwart George Leach, aged 96.
Since the late 1940’s George has been a key figure at Otliensians.
Born in 1926, George studied at Prince Henry’s Grammar School until 1942. Shortly after leaving school, during the latter stages of the Second World War, George joined the Royal Navy. On his return from service, Ilkley RUFC was George’s first 'port of call', before moving down the valley to Otliensians in 1948. Sadly, injury cut his playing career short in the late 1950’s, forcing George into more managerial positions within the Club.
George initially started as Club Secretary, but soon became Club Chairman. He was pivotal in giving Ensians a permanent home at Chaffers Field, when he helped the Club purchase the ground in the late 1960’s.
In 2008 George became president. Despite his failing eye sight and hearing, he was often seen in all weather conditions, spreading his infectious optimism.
The words 'unsung heroes’ are often used to describe the many dedicated volunteers who keep our game going, and in George we had the perfect example.
His commitment to rugby was recognised last year when George featured in an RFU documentary film about role models.
George was a true role model in rugby, and in life.
He will be greatly missed by us all.