William (Bill) Kelsey-Fry (4th December 1955 – 27th May 2017)

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It is with deep sorrow that the Club has to announce that former player and staunch supporter Bill Kelsey-Fry passed away at home on 27th May 2017 after a long and brave fight against illness. Our thoughts and condolences go to his wife Jennie, daughter Victoria, granddaughter Rhianna and the rest of Bill’s family. Victoria celebrated her marriage to her partner two weeks ago and Bill courageously fought against his illness to walk his daughter down the aisle.

Bill had a successful 1st XV career for Blackheath at fly half and full back. He had joined the Club from Warlingham in the 1976-77 season and his boot helped to secure many victories for his side. Whilst playing for the Club, Bill also turned out for Bosuns, Public School Wanderers and Kent, before moving to work in Hong Kong where he played for the Kowloon club. He was selected to represent Hong Kong and was immensely proud to be awarded his Hong Kong international cap. On his return to the UK, Bill was a regular member of the Blackheath Banshees, becoming its captain for the 1995-96 season.

Bill Fry

After hanging up his boots, Bill became an ardent Club 1st XV supporter, often driving a car full of members to such far-flung places as Redruth and Blaydon. More often than not Bill and his group would travel there and back in the day, with a stop, on northerly trips, at the George at Stamford for breakfast. The highlight of the season was the annual trip to see Blackheath play Wharfedale, staying at the Racehorses Hotel in Kettlewell, where Bill and company took over most of the rooms.

Bill was also an excellent golfer and a regular in the Club’s golf team that played in the annual fixture against the Royal Blackheath Golf Club.

As a Director of Cawl Bunker Services Ltd, Bill was brought into contact with Alejandro (Alex) Risler, who was at that time President of the Argentine Rugby Football Union, as well as being President of Atletico del Rosario Rugby Club. It was thanks to his friendship with Bill that Alex undertook to organise the Blackheath’s fixtures on its Sesquicentenary Tour to Argentina in 2008. Bill and Alex also helped to arrange an exchange of young players between Blackheath and Atletico del Rosario.

A great character, sportsman, player and supporter of Blackheath FC, Bill will be greatly missed by all those who were fortunate to know him.

Funeral arrangements will be posted once they are known.

Graham Cox

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