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Obituary : Bill Blanch

1 month ago By Mark Brown

It is with great sadness that Broughton Rugby Club informs its members of the untimely death of Club Stalwart Bill Blanch.

After being elected Head Boy at Broughton Senior Secondary, Bill joined the FP Rugby Club 50 years ago in season 1966/67, having been selected in his final year for Edinburgh Schools.

Bill gradually established himself as a talented, skilled player, capable of not only excelling in the back row but also appearing in any position across the back division without looking out of place.

During his membership that spanned an incredible half century, Bill served - at times literally - in every office within the Club.

From his debut as a Player in 1966 he was then appointed Club Captain in 1980/81 and again in 1981/82. It was in his second season as Captain that Bill guided his side to silverware when they won the Schweppes Division 4 Championship. It was an exceptionally profitable season as Bill had also been selected for the Edinburgh “B” squad.

After hanging up the playing boots, Bill took his skills gleaned from some two decades on the field in Broughton colours and stepped up to Coaching ranks within the Club.
Bill's time, energy and devotion to the cause saw him maintain his customary spot on the sidelines each match day when his Coaching chapter concluded.

Saturday afternoon's saw Bill in a whole manner of guises, often during the same game, whether it be Club Touch Judge, the Medic / 'Bag Man' and for the 'third half' as a Committee Member, often entertaining opposition guests in the Committee Room.
It was therefore fitting that Bill was duly elected as Club President in 1995, where he served for two seasons.

Bill was a bit of a talker, both on and off the field - more so on it and often to the ire of the referees! During one particular fixture against Glenrothes, the Ref marched the team back 10 metres not once, but three times as Bill continued to complain about a decision. He only stopped when his team mates managed to calm him down! The lads even made up a song to serenade him on the bus back home after we won the match.

His energy on the field was matched by his tireless efforts off it. Bill could - and did - turn his hand to any task within the Clubrooms at Wardie.

Perhaps it was in the kitchen that Bill would be remembered mostly in recent years, with his unconventional method of peeling the turnips with an axe and his making of the legendary chicken broth from scratch for the annual Burns Supper.

Bill brought his transferrable skills to club in other was too and if he wasn't cleaning the drains he was repairing roof leaks. Or he would be out digging holes to accommodate works before picking up a paint brush to give the place a freshen up. Bill would always be in there doing his bit for his club.

A club he devoted fifty years of blood, sweat and beers to, helping out on either side of the bar in order to build the very foundations that has ensured the club continues to deliver rugby for all in the heart of the North Edinburgh.

Bill's funeral will be held at Mortonhall Crematorium on Wednesday 08th November 2017 @ 11.00 am.

We extend our deepest and sincerest condolences to his Wife Kath and all members of the Blanch family during these difficult times.

(With thanks to Charlie Porteous)

Updated 13:21 - 3 Nov 2017 by Mark Brown

Where next?

National 1: Win against the Warriors sees Broughton go top in emotional day at Wardie A bonus point win saw Broughton leapfrog visitors Annan Warriors to go top of National 1 at an emotionally charged top of the table clash at Wardie.
East 1: Todd takes heart from bonus point earned in defeat to North Berwick Richard Todd's Broughton succumbed to a second half comeback from League Leaders North Berwick last Saturday to lose out 24-44 in East 1.

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