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Gypsy’s funeral cars had a double line of honour, as they passed through the Rugby Club grounds on the way to Saltwell Crematorium, as a sizeable crowd, adhering to social distancing, turned out to pay last respects to John ‘Gypsy’ Davidson, a lovely man, a great bloke and a great human being.
A Few Words about Gypsy – from Barry Rowlands
I’m sorry I can’t join you today to say goodbye, celebrate John’s life and give you all a hug. I’m sure we’re all looking forward to the time when we can all get together and have a big party to remember him; we all know how he looked forward to a party, especially an all day session at a wedding or a funeral.
I was touched when you asked me to write a few words about John to be read out at the service. It’s a great privilege to share a few of my memories and I hope I can do justice to the task and represent his many friends that have been touched by the unique character “Gypsy”. A loving and proud husband, father and grandfather and a valued friend to so very many.
His warm and infectious personality, his youthful outlook, his hope, optimism and enthusiasm, his trust of others, his generosity of spirit and his ability to make everyone he touched feel special made him special.
He is a connection across many generations at Blaydon Rugby Club, a constant presence either as a player, friend or employee. From ex senior players and officials from the 70’s to those involved in junior and mini rugby today. He is well known and respected across the North East rugby fraternity and more wider afield.
My friendship with John stretches back almost 40 years, our relationship and that of our families is not confined to our mutual love of rugby and Blaydon Rugby Club. He befriended my wider family, my mam, dad, wife ,4 children and my little brother Craig. They always spoke fondly of him, and Craig has represented the Rowland Brothers in my absence abroad. He loved my mother’s corned beef pasties, he was a popular baby sitter with our young children when we all went camping together, he taught Rebecca to roll cigarettes at the age of 5, and all of the children when young painted an image of him as a gift to hang in his shed. He liked me to sing A Little Tenderness by The Commitments, and as you know he liked Theakstons, a cigarette or 2 and he couldn’t keep a secret!
When I first met him he had lots of black curly hair and his own teeth, about 20 years ago Peter Graham removed his teeth and presented him with a set of very white dentures; I don’t know if anyone else noticed this transformation!
As well as his ability to connect across generations he was able to hold his own across all social classes; at the top Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, Jim Huxley and Kit Whittfield and at the very bottom Dancing Davy and Stag!
As you know he could be a bit of a dreamer and considered himself in his younger days to be a local lothario in the Swalwell area, “he had the ability to attract women of all ages that was legendary, he was a magnet “-all words that John used to describe himself! One of his standard lines he used when introduced to a new member of the rugby club bar staff was “when I was younger before I was married I’m sure I went out with your mother” much to his disappointment and damage to his ego ,particular in recent years ,invariably the response was “no I think that must have been my grandmother!”
As a younger man he was an all rounder, a gymnast, an excellent swimmer and rugby player. “One of the best props ever seen at the rugby club a great natural athlete” – again all words he used to describe himself!
Inspired by the film Billy Elliot ,Gypsy and Stag got their tutu’s and tights back out and reformed the Sugar Plums to dance the Nut Cracker at my brother Craig’s wedding, an experience I will never forget, and most of the guests were scarred by.
He did in recent years still treat us to an exhibition of forward rolls and cartwheels in the rugby club bar.
He was full of fun, an uninhibited character that was always up to responding to a dare, episodes of note included:-
– barred from an invitation only 1st team drinking session in an upstairs changing room at the rugby club, he decided to accept the challenge of stripping naked, donning only a tiny apron borrowed from the kitchen, climbed up the ladder in darkness and preceded to pretend his was a window cleaner come to clean the windows. He was dragged in through the window and they enjoyed his company releasing him after 2 hours of torture and humiliation.
– having gate crashed another private function at the rugby club, a halloween party he was keen to enter the spirit of the event. He took little persuasion to respond to a suggestion that he should burn 2 holes in a white large tablecloth and re-enter the function room as a ghost.
– on a rugby trip to the Isle of Man he followed the instruction to remove his dentures and entertain the Manx community with a toothless rendition of the Blaydon Races.
– since the new clubhouse was built in 1996 it became a popular wedding venue, Gypsy would insist on joining all photographs of the wedding party whether he knew them or not. I can imagine bride and groom and parents looking back on their special day wondering who’s that bloke with the white teeth and the cheeky smile.
He loved his rugby tours both domestic and international, along with others we would spend many hours remembering the great times we had together, our travels included amongst others, Bognor Regis, Doncaster, The Isle of Man, Portugal and The Crow Flies South tour to Barcelona in 1996 ( sometimes referred to as the tour of bad breath). He wasn’t bothered about how exotic the destination, he was happy if he was with his mates and of course whatever trip he was on had Susan’s full approval.
Gypsy was a massive personality and a central character at the heart of the rugby club he is loved and will be missed by us all.
Of course as an active and enthusiastic member of the Stone Crows having now fallen off his perch he has ascended to the great nest in the sky, and from there he will be able to enjoy depositing droppings on us for eternity.
Finally, as you know he was a sensitive soul who was not afraid to express his love, I will always remember our last hug and his saying “I love you bud”
Lots of love
We now have a date and time for the funeral. Wednesday 14th October @11:15am at Saltwell crematorium.
At this time, as you’ll all be aware funerals are covered by COVID19 restrictions, otherwise, as shown by the responses to previous announcements, the amount of people wanting to show respect is amazing and to quote them; “of great pride to his family”
There is an opportunity, in a way available during this time to be able to ‘pay one’s last respect’ to Gypsy and to show his family just what Gypsy meant to everyone. The funeral cars will be passing through the grounds of Blaydon RFC @10:40am and it would be great to see people, spread around the large grounds, keeping the appropriate social distancing from other households as the vehicles drive through.
It is with deep sadness that we share the news that a true ‘legend’ of Blaydon Rugby Football Club, John ‘Gypsy’ Davidson, passed away on Sunday 4th October following a period of illness.
‘Gypsy’ – as everyone knew him – represented Blaydon Rugby Club superbly in many ways…
As a player… he played at every level and in many different positions for the club. He was a skilful, tenacious and energetic competitor who loved the game and all its camaraderie.
As both an official and volunteer… Gypsy was always willing to lend a hand to the many projects and events at Blaydon RFC. His considerable experience, knowledge and skills were always valuable and very much appreciated. In later years he was closely involved in the club in a key role as groundsman and was also very proud to be a founding member of our supporters association ‘The Stoned Crows’. The ‘mob’ will miss him greatly.
As a club member… Gypsy was always there – mixing and interacting with club members and visitors. Always a welcoming ‘face’ and always with a ready smile. Full of fun and humour yet also full of advice, opinion and a sage word. Ready to talk on almost any subject and always ready to play a practical joke – especially on his close mates ‘Stag’ and ‘Dancing Davy’.
John ‘Gypsy’ Davidson was a lovely man, a great bloke and a great human being. Not many would know about his work with the Young Offenders Scheme and how he tried hard to give some young people an opportunity to regain respect and develop some skills in work placements. He was always ready to help out those who needed or wanted a helping hand. He was a man of many facets and it is certain that, as individuals, we will all have our own memories of Gypsy and his infectious smile!
Our thoughts at this time are with Susan and their immediate family, along with his brother Maurice and other members of the Davidson family – many of whom have close links with Blaydon RFC.
RIP Gypsy. You will be greatly missed and long remembered by all who knew you!
Further information and details will be posted as they become available.
Both our Wednesday and Sunday Carboots continue, under category of Outdoor Markets:
SUNDAY: Sunday: Open from 5:00am to sellers. Please be aware on a Sunny day the carboot can be full for sellers by around 8am on a Sunday morning.
WEDNESDAY: Open from 8:00am for sellers.
More details on dedicated facebook and webpage: http://www.blaydonrfc.co.uk/car-boot-sale/
BRFC are delighted to announce that Frazer Wilson is joining the Academy Coaching Team this season as an Assistant Coach to work alongside Justin, Steven, Keith and Paul. Frazer is a familiar face to most around the club and a first team regular. For those of you who don’t know Frazer well, here is an excellent Q&A to give you an insight into the new addition to the Academy set up.
-Name: Frazer Wilson
-Position’s Played: Wing, centre, back row, currently hooker
-Highest level played: Falcons A team
-Clubs Played for: Gateshead, Ryton (Both Juniors), Blaydon
-Role Model & Why: Dorian Yates (6x Mr Olympia).
People may roll their eyes at a bodybuilder.
But as a guy who grew up in Birmingham in the 60’s & 70’s with very little. He decided to turn his energy into bodybuilding which requires huge self discipline and dedication.
He went about his business quietly training in England, then burst on to the stage in America and shocked the world with his incredible physique and his story to go with it.
His attitude to life alone, is why i see him as a fantastic role model for whom I have looked up to for years.
-Coaching philosophy: Work hard. Give your all. Don’t be scared to try something outside of the box.
-What do you like about Blaydon?
Coming from Gateshead, Blaydon isn’t my hometown club. However it certainly feels that way. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly.
Failure or success in any team at Blaydon feels like it affects the club as a whole, because we are so tightly knit.
-Why did you take this role? I think development as rugby players and as young people at this particular age is so important. I hope I can have an impact on everyone involved to not only become better rugby players, to learn, love and enjoy the game, but to become better people along the way.
-Any other comments?
I can’t wait to get started as this is my first official coaching role.
BRFC would like to wish Frazer all the best in his new role and we see this as a great appointment moving forward with the Academy.
Pre-register online: CLICK HERE….
WE ARE BACK UP AND RUNNING AT BRFC THIS WEEKEND
There’s lots of activity going on behind the scenes in preparation for the reopening of the clubhouse this Saturday. We have a number of staff helping to ensure the safety of all members and guests with strict enforcement of the guidelines, which are based upon the 2m social distancing rule.
This means we can accommodate people inside on widely spaced tables and in small groups, as well utilising our huge outside space. We will need to limit numbers inside as standing at the bar is not allowed and table service will be in operation.
Please be aware that service will be slower than usual, especially if you fail to pre-register by completing the Google Form……. prior to your visit. Those records will be kept secure for 21 days and will only be needed by Track and Trace in the case of a confirmed case of Covid-19. Please note people who haven’t pre-registered should be bring ID, no ID, they will be asked to leave the premises unless they can prove via phone.
Please be prepared to pay by contactless payment only. Unfortunately, at this time to avoid the further risk of cross contamination Membership Cards will not be in operation initially, although this will be reviewed moving forward.
As is the norm these days there will be queueing marks on the floor at certain parts and a one-way system round the building. Those people visiting the bar at the weekend will be using the WC facilities in the foyer to keep the number of people moving around inside the building to a minimum. Further details/signage will be clearly visible on the day.
Please remember to bring your own chairs, gazebo and picnic blankets as there is plenty of room outside to socially distance from one another. At the moment the weather forecast is dry mostly cloudy with sunny spells, so fingers crossed, but you never know and clearly, we will not be able to allow a big rush of people inside for obvious reasons.
With your help and understanding we can all stay safe and keep the virus at bay while enjoying ourselves. We look forward to seeing you at the weekend, the bar will be open Saturday 12-11pm and Sunday 12-5pm. Please remember to complete the registration form……… prior to your visit, which will lead to a smoother operation on the day. Many thanks and stay safe!
We’re back, we’ve missed you and need more help from you!
We’ll be open Saturday and Sunday at Noon!
We’ve worked through all the latest guidelines, finished the risk assessment and have the operational aspects in place to open for the 4th July. As with all pubs/clubs we’ve lost revenue during lockdown and ask that you help Blaydon RFC come out of the lockdown, by calling in to socialise while adhering to distancing guidelines and contribute towards our recvoery.
More details will follow, but heads up:
- We’re booking good weather so we can be outside in the sun
- We have a lot of space so can create a number of sections where 30 people as per guidelines can hang out
- Bring folding chairs, Small Gazebos
- Guidelines say we have to keep a register, online signup will be available soon to save any delays on the day, anyone unknown to the club is welcome, but if they haven’t signed up in advance they will need ID to register
- Downstairs bar has a one way flow in through front door and exit side door into carpark
- more details to follow….
Blaydon RFC – Return to Training Guidance – 8th June 2020
The RFU has issued guidance on what we can and can’t do as we start to return to being able to train in a restricted form. There will be a slow progression back to normality dependent on government guidance. As a club we want to encourage our members to stay fit and maintain interaction with the club and their fellow players.
In order to do this we have undertaken a Risk Assessment (RA) and developed mitigating actions to look to ensure the safety for both players and coaches.
Club Responsibilities & Actions:
In line with RFU Guidance the club will:
• Brief all coaches on the RA and ask them to sign to say they will manage the session in line with the RA
• Social Distancing (Currently 2 metres) should be maintained at all times
• Training is allowed in groups of no more than 6, and if under 18 one of those 6 has to be a coach.
• Up to 4 groups of 6 are allowed on the pitch at any one time, maintaining separation from the other groups present, with the field clearly separated into sections.
• Washing of hands and/or use of hand sanitiser before, after and at regular intervals is essential. All coaches will have hand sanitiser to allow the session to take place.
• Sharing equipment or balls should be kept to a minimum and the equipment should be cleaned before / after each session, including cones.
• A first aider should be present at all sessions but the first aider should stay 2m away unless absolutely necessary. First aider should have PPE including gloves and face mask
• There should be a 15 minute gap between each session finishing and the next session starting to allow for safe access and the cleaning / removal of equipment.
• The use of toilets should be kept to a minimum but if necessary use of hand sanitiser should be used when entering and leaving the toilets / clubhouse.
• Entry and separate exits for the AGP will be clearly identified by signage.
• The club should be notified of all sessions, with a list of who attended
• Anyone who is looking to train should perform one of the following:
o complete a consent form and hand/submit to coaches
o send an email to Contact@blaydonrfc.co.uk Subject: Blaydon RFC – return to training guidance – 8th June 2020
o Click following link and ‘approve’ within (Online link currently not available yet)
Above advises you have read this club guidance and will comply. Under 18s need their parent/parents to sign the consent form.
• You will be issued a group to train in along with 5 other people – this will be decided by your coach and will relate to fitness/position played. Once you have been allocated a group you can not change it
• You should only train in this group scenario once every 24 hours
• Each player should wash their hands for a minimum of 20 secs. or use hand sanitiser before, after and at least once more during the session.
• You should arrive ready to train as there are no changing facilities
• All players and coaches should bring their own water bottle and should not share that bottle with anyone else.
• Unless asked, you should bring nothing else onto the pitch
Any breach of any of the above will result in a player or players being asked to leave the session and abstain from subsequent sessions until coaches and safeguarding officer are comfortable that there won’t be any re-occurrence.
An update on the Youth Section’s return to training will be posted soon. You can either email the club or print and sign a copy of the document, the online option is expected to be available after the weekend. If you need a copy of this form then please do not hesitate to contact the club. Regards BRFC
Blaydon RFC all delighted to announce that Justin Clarke has been appointed as the new Academy Head Coach for the new season. Justin is a long-term member of Blaydon RFC and having retired from playing last season he is looking for a fresh challenge to utilise his vast experience and enthusiasm for the game.
The Academy will go from strength to strength this season with the addition of the vast majority of the County Cup winning U16 team, who were coached by Keith Robinson and Ian Kelly joining up with a strong group of players from Steve Davidson and Paul Winter’s group. I understand that the Academy pool of players will be in excess of 30 going forward, which is fantastic news for the long-term development of home-grown players, who are the future generation for BRFC.
For those of you who don’t know Justin, please find below a quick Q&A, which will provide you with some more information on a long standing, well respected and familiar face at the club.
-Name: Justin Demarkus Clarke
-Position’s Played: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and let’s not forget 14 for the Blaydon Bricks on my gentle return to playing.
-Highest Level Played: National 1 with Blaydon and Durham County
-Clubs Played for: Blaydon RFC, Moortown RFC
-Role Model & Why
No single role model, I tend to like bits of what people do. Obama overcame the divisions of a nation to become the first black president of America, Jonny – The LEGEND – Wilkinson, combined talent and total dedication to become the best he could be, winning a World Cup and many other honours. More recently a local business owner faced with the challenge of Covid-19 yet finds the courage to feed the local community. There’s a lot to admire.
Train hard, play hard and have fun. Set the standard, raise the standard, push boundaries and believe anything is possible.
-What do you like about Blaydon?
Blaydon is my rugby home. I’ve learned a lot about life and rugby over the last 25 years. I’ve experienced the success of promotions, played at Twickenham and battled it out to avoid relegation. There have been so many people along the way providing support, guidance and encouragement. All with the best interests of the club at heart. Bit of a cliché but it sounds like a family to me.
-Why did you take this role?
Perfect timing. I’ve just retired from playing for the second time. It’s time to test myself as a coach and see if I can guide a young group of players the way I’ve been guided.
-Any other comments?
It is a true honour to be asked to coach Blaydon’s Academy. I have that feeling of nervous excitement I used to get before every game. I’m looking forward to getting to know the team, working with the coaches and to a successful season ahead both on and off the pitch.
All at BRFC would like to take this opportunity to wish Justin all the best in his new role and the Academy will be in good hands moving forward with Keith Robinson, Steve Davidson (Chester) and Paul Winter assisting with the coaching. This could actually be a golden era for the Academy as our current U16s/U15s squads have huge numbers and they are both strong groups backed by a talented group of coaches.
Crow Trees, Hexham Road,
Swalwell, Newcastle Upon Tyne,
Tel: 0191 4200505
Monday: 19:00 – 22:00
Tuesday: 19:00 – 22:00
Wednesday: 18:00 – 22:00
Thursday: 18:00 – 23:00
Friday: 18:00 – 23:30
Saturday: 12:00 – 23:30
Sunday: 12:00 – 17:00