Penrith Rugby Club is mourning the death of a popular former player and outstanding fundraiser.
Glenn Savage, who would have been 73 yesterday, died earlier in the week after a short and brave battle against cancer.
He was the first team hooker in the 1970s and played a number of years in that position.
After he stepped back from his playing career he threw himself whole-heartedly into the organisation and coaching of mini-rugby which was in its relative infancy at the club at the time.
He was well thought of and many of the adult members now remember with fondness his patience and skill in developing them as young players.
He had moved from Penrith to Cliburn and eventually to Keswick but frequently came through on his bike to continue his coaching.
He was naturally fit, a keen and good squash player and ever the athlete.
He continued to be an active member of the club committee and that eventually turned him to the role of what can probably be called ‘grants organiser’.
A simple title but one which involved identifying, sourcing, securing and administrating grants.
Club colleague Geoff Matthews said: “To say he was good at it would be an understatement – he appeared to have the ability to draw cash from the most unusual sources and when we summarised them the other week the value he had secured was in excess of £130,000.
“One particular source of pride was a full set of floodlights that covered two of the grass pitches. That alone was worth £60,000.
“All we seemed to have to do was tell Glenn we needed some funds for a project. He would then quiz us to make sure it was a practical application and then go on a bloodhound hunt to find the funds.
“Frequently he would ring up and say there are funds available from ‘x organisation’ – did we have a project?
“He was unique in this ability and I’m not sure we’ll ever see his like again.
“As thanks for this he was elected a life member in recognition of his contribution towards the club.
“Cycling was another of his hobbies and many of us have a personal memory of him and his friend Chris Merchant turning up at Kirkby Lonsdale a couple of years ago to watch Penrith in a Cup game.
“Saturday games at Penrith were just a regular jaunt for the two of them.
“There are a lot of people with a lot of memories of Glenn but the over-riding consensus is that he was just a thoroughly nice, lovely guy with no edge to him.
“He would help anybody and stoic right to the end. He’ll be a big miss all round.”
He leaves his wife Rhona, daughters Lindsay and Helen and three grandchildren. The funeral service is on Monday.