Very sadly we have to report on the news that “Honest John” Tustian, our great friend, supporter, linesman extraordinaire and true Towcestrian passed away in his sleep on the morning of 17th November. John had bravely fought cancer but alas succumbed in the end but even in his last few weeks, insisted upon coming to his beloved Towcestrians while he still could, to watch the rugby and support Richard as he played.
Matthew “Moose” Saxby, Rugby Chairman said “although this did not come as a surprise, we, the whole club are devastated to hear the news of one of the most well liked and avid supporters of the club, who tirelessly ran the line for us in all weathers all over the country, “Honest John “is a true Towcestrian legend and on behalf of the club may we offer our sympathy and deepest condolences to his family at the sad time”.
We thought it fitting to let one of John’s daughters, Anne, describe how John became involved in the club and what it meant to him:
“He first got involved with the Tows during in the 1980s through the Heygate's dinners.
Richard started minis when he was 8 so about 1990. Mum used to bring him but as he was not always cooperative, and she refused to take him anymore and Dad took over ?. Dad went every Sunday without fail, watching Richard train and play.
As Richard progressed through the juniors Dad got more involved in watching the seniors.
1999/2000 Richard won the East Midlands 7's in the colts. Dad was then Colt’s manager 2000/2001. By then he was occasionally running the line for the 1st team and by 2002 was a permanent fixture, known as Mr Tuzzer or “Honest John.”
He thoroughly enjoyed running the line even though he got into the odd scrape and even won the Tows a match against Leighton Buzzard!! I think when the ref had got the score match wrong and after much debating Dad convinced him we had kicked a conversion which won us the match!
He always said of the enjoyment he got from watching the Tows and what a great bunch of lads they are.
He spent many happy hours watching the lads through their highs and lows.
Watching them led him to many places around the country and abroad including Ireland, France and Jersey.
He was so, so, proud of watching Tuzzer and followed him everywhere with the Tows and East Midlands marking down every game he played (291 1st games to date) His biggest disappointments for the club was not winning the Alliance Cup.
He was always happy to help at the club with ground work and improvements to the pitches.
He ran the line on January 28th, 2017 on his 70th birthday and then it was a few days after that he found out he had cancer. He ran the line a few more times and the last occasion was 2nd September 2017.
This is stuff he was telling me a couple of weeks ago that I had written down.
On behalf of the Towcestrians and his many friends we would all like to offer our condolences to Barbara his wife, children, Anne, Julia and Richard and his grandchildren, Jesse, Jack, Wilfred & Arthur.
The funeral is to be held on Friday 1st Dec at 12.30pm at St Lawrence Church, Towcester, ALL are welcome. There will then be a wake to celebrate his life at Towcestrians afterwards. Again, all are welcome to raise a glass in his memory.
The following day; Sat 2nd December before the 1st XV game against Shelford there will be a minute’s silence in remembrance.
John Tustian 1947 – 2017 RIP
Updated 22:18 - 26 Dec 2017 by Paul Smith