David Brasier (1955-1961)

Died on 3rd November 2020 aged 77.

I first met the young David at the school in my early days as we were both in Hilles. Our academic paths never converged as I think that he was part of the mysterious intelligencia of the History Sixth. What did they do? Another leading light of the History set was Mike Wilkins, whose wedding we attended in Guernica. Dave provided the transport and drove most of the way there and back on a long haul through France without many Route Nationals. It was a memorable journey and a memorable wedding.

Rugby played a big part of our lives and we first played together in the School Second XV and after school we went our separate ways but eventually teamed up for the old boys playing together as 12 and 13 in the centre. In those days, it was left and right and not inside and out. At least playing that way you might get to see the ball from time to time. Rather than being outside centre!

Given that our fixtures in the late 60s and early 70s were against a lot of the top clubs, it would be reassuring to turn up at, say, Saracens, have a look at the programme to find that Dave was playing alongside because we were going to do a lot of tackling and you could rely on him to give his all. As Neville Griffin used to say, ‘I’ll set them up, you knock them down’. Never did quite understand what he meant. Dave was always on hand if there was a bit of a ‘Ruck’ going on (I do not mean a rugby ruck, I mean fisty cuffs); he could be counted on to run great lengths of the pitch to bring his formidable frame to assist in the assault. If my memory serves me correctly, we were much maligned by I think an Old Millhillian, who called us the dirtiest pair of centres in London Rugby. Dave was really upset, I was quite proud.

On a different tack, one of my great memories of Dave occurred at Plymouth Albion. Neville Griffin and I had made different accommodation arrangements rather than staying on Burgh Island; we did it for the best of reasons, of which I shall spare you the details. Back in the changing room after the game and having showered, Neville went to put his socks on and found that they were full of rotten fish, which amused me enormously. Laughing my head off. However, I soon found that my socks were also full of putrefied fish, boy did they smell and they were binned immediately. Looking around the room, there was a big beaming face belonging to Mr Brasier, who said ‘Serves you ……. right for not staying on tour’.

Fond Memories Dave.

John Welch (1957-1961)

David Brasier (back row, far left) in the team photo of the 1968 Caribbean Tour.

David Brasier (back row, far left) in the team photo of the 1968 Caribbean Tour. Johnny Welch is front row, far right. Can anyone name the rest of the tour party? Offered so far: from Welch going left, Peter Watkins, John Heck, Neville Griffin, Dee Burdin, Tim Walsham, back row from right, Richard Burt and then third from left, Gavin Brown... is there an Ostle there?


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