The chairman of Spalding Rugby Club for more than 20 years has died after an 18-month “courageous” battle with leukaemia.
Geof Nichols (72) died in the early hours of Friday morning and later the same day, a tribute from committee member Kevin Wand was posted on Town’s website.
It read: “It is with deep sadness that the club must report the passing away of our Chairman Geof Nichols who had been fighting a courageous battle against illness for the past 18 months.
“During that time Geof’s drive and enthusiasm to lead our club never diminished and we will be forever indebted to Geof for his remarkably long and consistent period of dedication to Spalding Rugby Club.
“All through our very successful years, and some of the difficult times, Geof has been a dependable and guiding influence.
“He always realised that the Rugby Club needed the combination of good governance and good fun.
“Geof will be greatly missed by club members and the wider rugby family, particularly in the Notts,Lincs and Derbys area where he was held in such high regard.
“Our thoughts and condolences are with Sue, Georgina and Caroline and Geof’s family at this difficult time.”
SATURDAY 7.20PM: Unbeaten home run ends on poignant day for Spalding
MIDLANDS TWO EAST (NORTH): Spalding 17 Melbourne 20
Spalding failed to make it five home matches without defeat after a slow start proved too much to make up against a strong Melbourne side.
Town led 12-6 at half-time, despite conceding two penalties within the first 30 minutes of the match at Memorial Field.
But a try by Taylor Crowson, converted by Josh Broome, and former club skipper Harry Sharman put Bruno Figuireido’s men on course for another home success.
The Elephants should have pressed home their advantage in the second half when producing two chances to counter-attack Melbourne through Harry Harrison and Tom Winch.
But mistimed passes proved costly later when two converted Melbourne tries in the last 15 minutes of the game gave Spalding a mountain to climb, with time running out.
Harry Sharman touched down for a second time with the last play of the game but by then, the deficit was too great to claw back.
However, the sscoreline was put into sharp focus before the game kicked off when a minute’s silence was observed for Spalding RFC chairman Geof Nichols (72) who died on Friday morning.
Mr Nichols, who had been undergoing treatment for leukaemia after it was diagnosed in September 2014, served as club chairman for more than 20 years and also contributed match reports for the Lincolnshire Free Press.
He is survived by wife Sue and daughters Caroline and Georgina.