Tributes to rugby club ‘legend’ Dave

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Tributes have been paid to a Dinnington sporting stalwart who passed away this week after a battle with Parkinson’s disease.

David Weatherburn, 73, of Middleton Avenue, has been described by family and friends as a ’true gentleman’ and a driving force behind his beloved Dinnington Rugby Club.

Dave was originally from Huddersfield and played for Huddersfield RUFC in the late 1950s and 60s.

He moved here with wife Janet and daughter Jill around 1970 and joined Dinnington RUFC in 1972. He was First XV captain in 1973 and 1975, later becoming second and third team captain.

Dave’s career as a bank manager meant he was an asset to the club, becoming their treasurer for almost 30 years.

And his commitment and expertise was recognised at local, regional and national level through various awards including the Rugby Football Union tie and South Yorkshire Rugby Volunteers Award.

Janet said: “Dinnington was his adopted home. The first time we came here he saw some rugby posts on the pit field and his involvement continued from there.”

In the early years Dave was one of small group of members who raised funds to build the club house and changing rooms on Lodge Lane.

He walked the Pennine Way and ran various marathons to raise the cash, including the New York, Paris and London - five times.

An avid runner, he was also a member of Rotherham Harriers running club.

Dinnington rugby club opened a book of memories this week, to encourage friends and colleagues to share their thoughts.

Close friend Phil Easy wrote: “His sense of humour, his humility, his zest for life and above all his sense of fair play are some of Dave’s qualities we shall all miss.”

Said Janet: “It has impressed me how many people’s lives he touched. The response from everyone has been overwhelming.”