We are sad to announce the recent death of Lionel Bailey, former Club player, who died suddenly at home. The Bailey family were staunch members of Blackheath F.C. Lionel was the son of L.S. Bailey, who played 164 games for the Club. His uncle was C.B. Bailey, who had 114 appearances, and his cousin was C.L.J. (Bill) Bailey, captain of Blackheath F.C. in the 1960/61 season.
Lionel joined the Club in October 1961 and was described in a newspaper article in January 1962 as having “too much ability and too little weight” for a second row. He was 6ft 3ins tall and weighed a mere 13st 7lbs, so he had to do some hard swimming to beef himself up. He also played occasionally in the back row. Lionel appeared on the team photo of season 1961/62 but was absent from it in the following two seasons because he and Clive Hacking (they were known as the terrible twins) went ‘jackarooing’ to Australia and New Zealand, playing both rugby and cricket there. They were back at the Club to appear in the 1st XV photograph for the 1964/65 season. Lionel continued playing for the 1st XV until the end of the 1967/68 season.
Lionel was on the East Africa Tour in 1966 and in May 1968 he and his wife Susan were on the Club’s tour to the United States. He played county rugby for Surrey. Later, he turned out many times for Peter Piper’s Blackheath Golden Oldies.
Our thoughts are with Lionel’s family and friends and we extend our heartfelt condolences to them.