At least 250 people bade a fitting and moving farewell to rugby chairman and Rotary Club member Geof Nichols at St Mary’s Church, Pinchbeck.
Family and friends, led by wife Sue with daughters Caroline and Georgina, attended a thanksgiving service for Mr Nichols who died on January 29, aged 72.
The service including tributes read out on behalf of Spalding Rugby Club, which Mr Nichols was chairman of for more than 20 years, and the Rotary Club of South Holland of which he was a founder member in 1983.
Martin Beecham, honorary fixtures secretary of Spalding Rugby Club, said: “Geof’s association with Spalding Rugby Club began some 35 years ago when he arrived as a veteran player and, in true friendly fashion, he decided to buy the (third) team’s youngsters each a pint each after the match.
“As chairman for the past 20 years, it is amazing to consider that two generations of players have now played their rugby at the club under the
stewardship of Geof.
“Players from every corner of the globe, and from around the country, will forever associate their club with Geof Nichols, as well as the
teammates they have enjoyed their rugby with.”
Meanwhile, former Rotary Club district governor Chris Chew said: “In 1983, soon after he, Sue and the family moved to Spalding, Geof became a mounder ember of the Rotary Club of South Holland.
“A few years later, he became our club president and so began a long and dedicated commitment to Rotary.
Geof Nichols was a salt-of-the-earth man whose abiding passions, after his home and family life, were rugby and Rotary.Retired vicar Rev David Hill
“Geof has been an example to us all, a true gentleman, a true Rotarian and one who has truly lived by the Rotary ethos of ‘Service Above Self.’”
Retired vicar Rev David Hill, who led the service, said: “In his own way, Geof Nichols was a salt-of-the-earth man whose abiding passions, after his home and family life, were rugby and Rotary.
“His loss is enormous and our sadness is the flipside of the love and affection we once shared with Geof.
“But life goes on and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Tributes paid to massive figure’ in Rotary and in sports club lives