23 May 13
Harlequins confirmed today (23rd May) that Chris Brooker is leaving the club to join Worcester Warriors.
Donald Lewis (Sandy) Sanders, former England international prop and Rugby Football Union President died, aged 87, early on October 25th in Ipswich Hospital.
D L G Sanders or Sandy, as he was known to everyone, was one of the many Harlequins closely involved with the RFU in the 1970s and 1980s. At that time the Club provided numerous Presidents, Secretaries and Treasurers of the RFU - in his time, Sandy was both Treasurer and President. Before that he had played nine times for England in the 1950s, a number he would surely have added to if he had not been seriously injured in a motor bike accident whilst holidaying in Yugoslavia in 1956. This ended his rugby playing, but he remained actively involved both with the Club and England. In the 1970s, he was twice Chairman of the England selectors. In the space of eighteen months, during his first term from 1971 to 1974, England beat South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, a feat not repeated till the World Cup side of 2003.
Sandy came to the Club in 1953 and gained international honours a year later at the relatively late age of 29. However, in those days props did not mature till their thirties. He learnt his craft in the relative rugby obscurity of East Anglia, playing for Ipswich YMCA and Eastern Counties. In fact, a strength of the county system at that time was that England could find good players from such backwaters. In those days players could have a lot of fun both off and on the pitch.
Brian Hulse of Colchester RFC recalled his clubhouse in the Fifties thus:
"The hut had cross ties across the various rooms, including the bar, and I mention this because of the night that D.L.(Sandy) Sanders of Ipswich Y.M.C.A. displayed his extraordinary strength in hanging by his toes from one of the beams and drinking a pint of bitter whilst upside down!"
It was Sandy's good fortune that the press in those days concentrated on what happened on the pitch, rather than off it!
Sandy played over 60 times for the Club, after joining from Ipswich YMCA at the beginning of the 1953/54 season. His last game was on a tour to Romania immediately before that fateful accident.Sandy worked for Shell-Mex and BP Ltd, before becoming sales director of Tilcon, a Harrogate aggregate company. He retired to East Anglia. He is survived by two brothers, Derek and James and a sister Janet.
RFU President, Willie Wildash said, "Everyone will be very sad to hear of Sandy's death. He had tremendous warmth and insight and was a great man of rugby, both within Ipswich YMCA, (which he served as Chairman until last year) and Harlequins, as well as on the international field of play. His contribution to running the game was hugely appreciated. He will be very much missed."