It has been a terribly sad few days for former members of Gosforth FC, specially those who attended Gosforth Grammar School in the 50's.
I have known KEITH WADE since school days, but it was at Gosforth that I played rugby alongside him on so many occasions. A great Club man he was a wise and knowledgeable prop who performed with distinction whenever called up for first team duties. When I captained a junior team he supported me well as vice captain, passing on advice to younger team members.
Always a pleasure to be with on and off the pitch. Over the last ten years or so he has been splendid company in our little touring party when spending annual international weekends in Dublin and Edinburgh. He will be remembered for endless amusing anecdotes of his career as a customs officer.
BILL CHARLTON was both my rugby and woodwork master. At my first woodwork lesson he introduced himself as Gosforth's first team fullback, issued membership cards to everyone and invited all to watch Gosforth play at the County ground that weekend. I attended with others and we all finished up being ballboys. He was to go on to coach my rugby for four years. His influence in guiding literally hundreds of schoolboys to the Club coincided with it's climb to national recognition and should forever be remembered. Even if some went to another club Bill was happy that they were still involved with the game. Bill turned to coaching after playing and was instrumental in bringing all the Club's talented young players together as an under 21 side. A wise old head,Graham Morrison, was appointed as captain and when searching to give the side a name Graham came up with the name Falcons, after his middle name of Falconer! The name was later copied by the professional team at Kingston Park.
Updated 12:56 - 30 Aug 2017 by Derek Reid
Bill went on to coach Morpeth RFC, and guided them to a memorable semi final appearance in the John Player Cup. One of my last encounters with Bill was as we were leaving the Gosforth branch of the Nationwide BS on Gosforth High Street. I offered Bill a lift but he said he was parked somewhere across the road. I started walking to the traffic lights to ensure a safe crossing when suddenly Bill leapt the kerb, side stepped the oncoming traffic before 'sprinting' to the safety of the opposite tryline outside the former Woolworths. Perhaps he was imagining touching down the ball before contemplating his toe ended conversion! Bill was a real gentleman, someone who's company to enjoy. He has to be one of the greatest influences in my life, and the reason my involvement in rugby continues after more than 60 years.