In Memory of David Ford

Honorary Member David Ford died on 4th February after a short spell in Addenbrooke’s Hospital.  He was 82 years old and had been suffering with ill health for the past few years. 

David was almost a founding member of the Society. He joined it in the late 1950’s when he was a student at the University. Contributing to the recently compiled history of the society, he recalled that the majority of members then were students.

For forty years, we worked for Smee and Ford legacy specialists, retiring as its  chairman in 2000. His relaxed friendly style was well known to many fundraisers, a style which no doubt was a feature of his refereeing.

He was also chairman of the board of Institute of Fundraising and widely acknowledged as the UKs godfather of bequest marketing.

Whilst working in the City, he refereed with the London Society at first class level.

He was a pioneer in the development of a formal process for assessing referees performances. Returning to the Eastern Counties in the 1980’s, David helped progress the assessment system and training of advisors in the four sub county societies.

David’s proficiency was recognised by the RFU who appointed him as a Divisional Advisor Development Officer at national level. He assessed/advised match officials in the National Leagues.

He was also Society ADO monitoring and coaching CUDRRS advisors. He was someone who spoke with authority and wisdom and was respected greatly.

Charles Osbourn commented that David was always fair and constructive in his assessment of a referee’s performance and subsequent advice.. 

Typical of so many of CUDRRS members, David was dedicated to rugby and gave back to the game as much as he got from it.

He is the third Honorary Member of CUDRRS who has died recenty in what should have been a joyous golden jubilee year for the Society. 

Jon Evans said “It is another massive loss to us all”.

We console ourselves by recalling the good times we shared and being grateful we knew them. 

Our condolences have been expressed to his family.

Mike Dimambro                                                                    February 2021