We are very sad to report the death of the Club’s former Chairman, Malcolm Jones. He died peacefully on Saturday, 12th May, at the age of 79.
Born in South Wales, Malcolm’s early career took him to Nottinghamshire where he played as a distinguished lock forward for Nottingham RFC. His business interests eventually led to a move to Lancashire where he became Chairman of Bensons Crisps. Despite a busy professional life, Malcolm found time for his great love of rugby by joining Fylde and getting involved in coaching the Mini-Juniors, including his own sons. He became Chairman of the M-J Section.
Malcolm brought his business knowledge to benefit the Club directly when he became the commercial lead on the General Committee in the late 1990s. He eventually took on the more onerous responsibility of Chairman in 2002 at a critical stage in the Club’s history. To clear substantial debts built up in the early days of professional rugby, it was necessary to sell a portion of land at the Woodlands. No one was sadder than Malcolm at this reality but there was no other solution if the Club was to survive.
Malcolm negotiated with Wigan-based developers Wilson Connolly and worked closely with Fylde Borough Council to gain planning approval for a scheme of house and apartment construction. He worked incredibly hard to deliver a very successful deal which maximised the revenues to the Club. This paid off debts as well as financing the building of a splendid new Clubhouse and other facilities development. The sale was completed in June 2003 and the Clubhouse opened in the autumn of 2005.
With this project completed, Malcolm stood down as Chairman at the end of the 2005/6 season to be succeeded by Michael Brennand. Whilst he continued to support the club in his usual enthusiastic way and initially to attend matches regularly, his health deteriorated and he gradually found it hard to visit his beloved club. However, he always maintained his interest in affairs at the Woodlands right up to his death.
Malcolm was warm hearted, had great business skills and was a fine raconteur. His sonorous voice was so distinctive and was influential in his enthusiastic and noisy encouragement of the 1st team at home and away! Most of all, it was his passion for rugby, deep within his DNA, that served the Club so well.
Everyone at Fylde RFC passes on their sincere condolences to his friends and family, including his three sons, three daughters and five grand children.
His funeral will be at Lytham Crematorium on Thursday 31st May, at 12.30, with refreshments at the Woodlands afterwards.