Well known Penryn rugby player Brian Bate, who played in the town's first team for seventeen and a half years, has died suddenly in his home.
He was first chosen for the first fifteen when he was 15 years old and continued to play in the first team throughout his rugby career.
He still holds the club record today, for playing in 14 different positions on the field during his career at Penryn, starting in the Full Back position and ending his rugby playing days as a Prop in the late 1960’s.
Brian was educated at Penryn National School, in Commercial Road, Penryn and continued his education at Falmouth Technical College where he trained to become a plumber. He served his apprenticeship with his Grandfather Peiterson in Falmouth, and before early retirement, due to ill health in the early 1980’s, had his own plumbing business in Penryn.
When he was conscripted in the National Service in 1955, he joined the RAF and trained on airframes, and after passing exams, he was in charge of his section, often flying with the pilots on test flights for his written reports on the Aircrafts performance in flight. He was also awarded Cross Rifles for his target shooting skills.
During his time in the RAF he represented them at rugby and was flown to a lot of the matches around the country to play for them. Flights to St Mawgan were also arranged for him when Penryn had important matches and he was needed to play for them. When stationed at Colerne, in Somerset, he played for Bath RFC first fifteen until his time in the National Service was over and he returned to Cornwall.
Brian returned to work at Falmouth Docks and then for the Falmouth Towage Company as a first Mate on the Tugs, then for a while, at Wheal Jane mine before returning to plumbing with his own business.
Brian was a very keen sportsman and played Cricket for St Gluvias and football for Penryn in his very young days, but his love of rugby became more important to him. During his life, he played snooker for Stithians and bowls for Stithians Bowling Club and went on to play for Penryn Bowling Club when he moved back to the area from Stithians, where he had lived for a short while. Over the years, he had been a member of Greenbank Rowing and Gig Club and a member of Budock Vean Golf Club. He also crewed for Toby West on The Victory in his younger days.
Rugby was always a big part of his life and in the 1980’s, he followed and watched very closely his stepson (Steven Richardson), in his rugby career and most recently, three grandsons, who had been encouraged by him, to play the game.
Brian had many pastimes and interests; he was Chairman of Fal Breakers CB Club, a committee member and then Chairman of Woodlane Social Club. He had been a member of many sports clubs in the area, where he had been an active playing member in the many sports he had played. His interest in the last six years had been wildlife photography and was a member of Penryn Camera Club.
His funeral will be held at Penmount Crematorium, Trelawney Chapel, on May 10 at 4pm.
It was his wish, for those wishing to attend, to return to Penryn Rugby Club for the “after match” get together.