Heartfelt tributes have been paid to ‘real lion’ David Owen, chairman and owner of Rugby Lions RFC, following his death. Mr Owen MBE, whose association with the club spanned four decades, died over the weekend with his family by his side. He was 82 years old.
The club said David would be remembered by many for his very vocal support from the balcony at Webb Ellis Road on matchdays. A club spokesperson said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all of David’s family and friends at this very difficult time.”
Club chairman Mal Malik said he was “devastated” to hear the news: “On behalf of all Rugby Lions, past and present, I would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to David’s wife, Patricia, and to his family for their sad loss, and indeed ours.
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“Next year, 2023, will officially mark the 150th anniversary of Rugby Football Club. I would like to express our thanks to David and his family for their support and commitment to Rugby Lions over the past two decades.
“As a club, we must take heart and express our gratitude to our president for helping us achieve such a milestone. We owe it to him to work together as one club, in order to reach our next milestone.”
Close friend Jeff Nowill said David’s passing left him speechless. “David and I were exceptionally close in every way,” he said. “Of course, he could sometimes be ‘thrifty’ in communication, but that masked a truly caring and considerate man.
“It wasn’t just ‘friend’, because that word isn’t adequate. I guess I’ll have more to say in the next few days, but for now I’ll leave it at that. The world is a much, much worse place for his passing. God bless you and rest in peace my dear friend.
Karl Hardwick said: “David was a true lion and was incredibly supportive of the club and the Lions players and supporters. A very passionate man and knowledgeable about the game. A great loss to his family, friends, the club and the game as a whole. as whole.”
David was not only supportive of the adult teams at the club. He regularly attended presentations for the mini and junior sections of the club presenting the next generation of Lions with their medals and club ties.
Keith Lawson described his passing as “very sad news”. “He was always passionate about the club and was respected not only by the fans but especially by the players,” he said. “His commitment to the club is unquestionable and his support has remained just as strong from National 1 to Midlands 5. My thoughts are with his wonderful family at this time.
“He will be missed by the entire Lions family and, such was his impact, he will never be forgotten.”